Meeting Street National Center of Excellence

Providence, Rhode Island

Meeting Street School, founded in 1946, set out to create a “Center of Excellence” that would symbolize its role as a national leader in therapeutic services, serving students from the age of 6 weeks to 21 years. The school was designed as one of the first fully inclusive schools in the nation for pre-K to 8 and a non-inclusive high school. The uniqueness is the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY204COST PER SQ FT$215.78FEATURED IN2007 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized of children with and without disabilities in a fully inclusive facility that complements the school’s program.

The design team was challenged to create a unique project to house this new concept. Faced with a sloping site and a desire to avoid stairs, the design team used a series of terraced levels that took advantage of the site characteristics. Ramps connect the levels so that ambulatory and non-ambulatory students do not have to go in separate directions. The multiple levels created along the ramp house offices and conference rooms that keep the ramp active and lively. Natural light from clerestory windows and skylights are abundant throughout the facility. Colors and carpet patterns are selected carefully to limit confusion for students with vision challenges.

The LEED-qualifying facility is organized with a series of “fingers” off a main spine to establish clearly defined wings for each age group. The Reggio Emilia approach also helped influence the design. The corridors are angled to scale down the large facility and the wings from exterior spaces that interact with the interior.