Ocean Avenue Elementary School

Portland, Maine

  • FIRM

    WBRC Architects/Engineers


    Portland Public Schools and the City of Portland

  • AREA

    70,315 sq.ft.





This K to 5 school branches out from an eclectic entry facade fronting on an open arrival plaza. The small site, tucked away inside the Back Cove neighborhood, offered challenges and opportunities for the design of the school.

The design started with several community meetings, which determined the educational aspirations and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY440COST PER SQ FT$159.50FEATURED IN2011 Architectural Portfolio building goals for the school. Working with the district and community members, the design team helped establish these goals. This collaboration continued throughout the project with presentations to classes by the design team explaining building features, student tours of the construction, and hands-on activities for students that included planting areas of the vegetated roof.

The school is targeted to achieve LEED for Schools certification, based on extensive use of local and recycled materials, high-efficiency HVAC equipment, vegetated roofs to control stormwater and solar hot-water collectors, among other design elements. All classrooms have large windows looking out on the wooded parcel, wetlands and bio-retention beds that enhance the outdoor sustainable education features of the school’s curriculum.