CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering

Windsor, Connecticut

  • FIRM

    Friar Associates, Inc.


    Capitol Region Education Council

  • AREA

    164,765 sq.ft.





Associated Firms: CREC Construction (Program Manager), Friar Associates II, LLC (MEPFP), Freeman Companies, LLC (Civil Engineer), Santo Domingo Engineering, LLC (Structural Engineer), RJS | Barber Associates, LLC (Kitchen Consultant)

Design team
Michael A. Sorano, AIA (Principal-in-Charge); Bryce R. Sens, RA (Senior Project Manager); Nicholas Mundo, ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY735COST PER SQ FT$365.00CITATIONCombined-Level School CitationFEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio (Project Architect); Deanna Dewey, NCIDQ (Senior Interior Designer); Cristin M. Auten, NCIDQ (Senior Interior Designer)

This large, high-performance magnet school accommodates 735 students in grades 6 to 12. The site, a former commercial building within a community next to Bradley International Airport, required extensive modifications to transform it into an exciting, contemporary school that attracts students to its STEM curriculum. Striking features and the creation of four pods — Middle School, High School, Aerospace/Engineering, and Assembly — achieve this goal.
The design was inspired by flight and exploration. This STEM learning center invites students to discover aerospace and engineering themes. Students move through the site as if landing on an airport runway; the middle school’s science labs exist within a modern airfoil frame. An ancient nebula as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope is depicted in a pixilated facade.
Students are served by 900-square-foot classrooms along with curriculum-specific laboratories, independent study rooms and dramatic gymnasium and cafeteria spaces. Energy harnessed by photovoltaic louvers is managed by a computerized building management system.
This inspiring learning environment encourages students to look into their imaginations.