Harris Elementary School

Woonsocket, Rhode Island

The new Harris Elementary School building was designed to replace a circa 1920 high school building that was being used as an elementary school. The original building was razed and additional property was purchased to allow for the construction of the new school. The restrictive, two-acre urban site was bordered on the west by an abandoned railroad track and situated in ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY500COST PER SQ FT$157.00FEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio residential neighborhood of multi-family housing. The configuration of the site and required setbacks drove the building plan.

Programmatically, the school features many specialized teaching spaces, including 21 classrooms, a computer lab, ESL rooms, and an art and music room. Main support facilities include a two-story media center, a cafetorium and gymnasium supported by an unobstructed view from the administrative area to the entrance.

The gable roof keeps the building in scale contextually with its adjacent residential fabric, and a two-story atrium provides warmth and sunlight throughout the inviting main entrance. Palettes of cool pastels radiate through the color-coded corridors and classrooms, and provide orientation and individual identity for the students.