Ivan G. Smith Elementary School

Danvers, Massachusetts


Danvers Public Schools


82,719 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


Design Team
Charlie Hay, AIA (Principal in Charge): Chris Blessen, AIA (Design Principal); Wendy Hynes, IIDA (Interior Designer); Jen Littlefield, AI (Construction Administrator); Matt Barnhart (Project Architect)

Smith Elementary boasts a robust arts and music program in which students express ideas and emotions as they develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills. The building integrates these creativity-focused courses with space for separated and combined learning as well as breakout and small group areas for the project-based curriculum.

A split-level design weaves the school’s distinctive commons into a compact floor plan with generous sightlines and easily accessible after-hours spaces.

Students enter through the soaring lobby, a welcoming and bright space as they prepare for a day of learning. The wide, gently curved corridor is flanked by folding glass partitions highlighting music and art. Arriving at the central axis, the building divides with views into the learning commons and STEAM lab.

These shared areas celebrate the creative pedagogy by displaying projects and performances. Expansive “learning corridor” hallways are visually clear, functional and engaging; acoustic linoleum flooring creates distinct zones.

A two-sided stage connects the gymnasium and cafeteria for diverse events. Echoing the art-focused curriculum, sprawling graphics and distinctive colors and materials embellish throughout.

Additional Information

Associated Firm

Warner Larson (Landscape Architect); Frank Locker (Educational Programmer); Nitsch Engineering (Civil + Site); Engineer’s Design Group (Structural)



Cost per Sq Ft


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