Colt Andrews Elementary School

Bristol, Rhode Island


    Bristol/Warren Regional School District

  • AREA

    59,933 sq.ft.





Colt Andrews Elementary School is set in a prominent historic district in Rhode Island.

The Colt School was built in 1906 by the Colt family as Bristol’s high school. The Andrews School was built in 1938 to accommodate a full high school curriculum. Each building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$190.00FEATURED IN2010 Architectural Portfolio involved extensive renovations and restoration to both buildings in order to provide a state-of-the-art, contemporary elementary school. To meet program requirements, an addition was designed onto the Andrews school to better accommodate the early-childhood program and to maintain the historical integrity of the Colt School.

The massing of the two prominent gabled-end structures of the original Andrews building is repeated as the main design element of the addition. The "baseball cap," a double curved roof/window wall, provides pedestrian and residential neighborhood scale, and encloses the kindergarten’s library storytelling area. The addition is attached to the building by a two-story connector, which echoes a bridge-arch structure.

At the Colt School, the significant design opportunity was the requirement for a large space to house the school’s library/media center and art room. The building’s original heavy-timber attic framing was not exposed to view. At an early site investigation, the architect was fascinated by the generations of students who had managed to memorialize their tenure at the school by imprinting their nicknames onto the beam. The design included the restructuring of the space to introduce natural light to the whole of the third floor and illuminate the historic graffiti.

The Colt Andrews project incorporates green design and the latest technology in a prominent historic building This project has generated excitement in the community by uniting past, present and future generations of students, and by providing an enriching and memorable educational experience.