Southampton Elementary School is on a highly visible site near the center of town. Additions and alterations have been planned, designed and executed with sensitivity to the building’s history and its presence within the local community.
Many of the challenges of the building were rooted in CAPACITY719COST PER SQ FT$508.00FEATURED IN2010 Architectural Portfolio age and in the school planning standards of that time. Many spaces within the three-story structure were not handicapped-accessible, forcing shared instructional spaces to occupy the first floor so that all students could benefit. This affected the organizational efficiency of other programs buildingwide. The additions and alterations have solved these and other problems inherent in the previous building design.
The new three-story classroom addition includes an elevator positioned to provide access to each floor. Handicapped accessibility has been provided to all instructional spaces, support spaces and toilet rooms.
Existing spaces have been reconfigured in concert with the designation of new spaces in order for grade levels to be gathered together. Previously, many grade levels were fractured and not able to be close to one another. Additional support spaces also have been added, enabling the educational program to thrive. New kindergarten classrooms are on the first floor of the main addition, and newly introduced pre-kindergarten classrooms have been placed into previous kindergarten classroom locations.
The main office had been on the second floor as an integral part of the primary spatial sequence of the original building. It has been relocated to a more functional position on the first floor, with direct handicapped access from the exterior. An improved traffic loop services this new point of entry. Additional space also was provided on the first floor for receiving and storage at the back of the building.
The site was reconfigured. An internal bus loop now exists where there was only curbside dropoff from the street. The positioning of the new classroom addition separates the new ADA-compliant playground areas and fields from the street, offering more safety and supervisory control than existed before.
The detailing of the new additions complements the architectural identity of the original structure. The new three-story connecting corridor link serves as a transitional element made of glass and cast stone, connecting old and new. The placement of additions, new paving, new traffic patterns, and play areas have made the most efficient use of available land.