Committee releases renderings for elementary schools

Committee releases renderings for elementary schools

Renderings for Anna McCabe Elementary School show an addition in the rear to accomodate a new gymnasium, media center, and early childhood classrooms.
Officials: Most students will be impacted in some way

SMITHFIELD – Updated plans and renderings for the elementary school reconfiguration project were released last week and they reveal a focus on creating open, public creative spaces and segregated drop-off areas for students.

During the Nov. 4 School Committee meeting, Doug Brown of DBVW Architects presented the updated plans and renderings to the committee. Brown says the project remains “on time and on budget.”

“At this point, we’ve completed the design stage,” he said.

Designs need to be approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education, he said. Plans for the project were scaled back over the summer to meet a $45 million budget.

School Committee Chairwoman Rose Marie Cipriano said she is delighted with the plans and is anticipating breaking ground next April.

“This is the right time. Everything is correct as to where we should be,” she said.

Most importantly for Cipriano, she said that each of the schools will be given a level playing field as far as building conditions. She said the sentiment that one area of Smithfield is given better treatment than others will be negated after construction.

Each school’s plans call for an added learning common for flexible teaching spaces used by all different grades integrated into larger public areas, such as a library.

“We are one Smithfield,” Cipriano said.

Committee members all agreed the designs and plans are fantastic, saying they represent an excellent way to show people what the schools will look like.

Committee member Richard Iannitelli said the collaboration between architects, administrators, staff and students has been great. From gymnasiums and art rooms to common spaces and “maker spaces,” Iannitelli said every elementary student will be impacted by the changes.

“Most students are going to be affected by some new construction or new design everywhere,” Iannitelli said.

Brown said while the project is on schedule, it is critical to keep moving through the process and to have someone engaged in construction for the summer.

He said all schools will receive a double-door entry system that requires visitors to enter through the administrative office before entry into the school.

Additional renderings and design plans are available for viewing at www.smithfield-ps.org under the school construction tab. Cipriano said anyone interested in the project should watch or attend committee meetings, which are uploaded to the town’s website, www.smithfieldri.com .

Here is a summary of the latest plans:

Anna McCabe Elementary School

The most complex of all three schools, Brown said the majority of the work will be done at McCabe Elementary School, 562 Putman Pike. Main upgrades to McCabe include a new music room, media center, and updates in the cafeteria.

Brown said discussions are ongoing on how to best plan the student drop-off and pick-up zones, but Supt. Judy Paolucci said the current separation of staff parking and student drop-off zones will work best.

Significant changes in the plans switch from complete masonry material to half masonry and half metal paneling in the gym addition to lower costs of the work.

The interior courtyard will be transformed from a paved parking lot to a green space with “a lot of potential for further development,” Brown said.

LaPerche Elementary School

Brown said not much has changed since previous updates for the reconfiguration plan at LaPerche, 11 Limerock Road.

Key spaces such as the early learning center, art room, and special education classrooms are still included. He said additional storage to eliminate the need to use the gym as storage was a priority.

Brown said the plans have the same strategy of separating student drop-off from staff parking.

He said the library has been moved to create more room for the classrooms and will include shared maker space. The common learning area will be to the right of the library.

He said RIDE requested a separate entrance be added to the new addition portion of the school, which was added as well.

Old County Road School

For OCRS, located at 200 Old County Road, original plans to have an additional rear entrance were scratched, partially due to site grading and also because there is an existing door in front. Brown said rooms inside the school have been shuffled around to add an elevator and to accommodate special needs classrooms.

Significant improvements to OCRS include additional space for the library, main office and music rooms.

All schools will receive ADA entryways and air treatment improvements.

Renderings for LaPerche School show an addition to the right of the main building for early childhood classrooms, a media center and art room.
Renderings for Old County Road Elementary School show an addition in front to house a new administrative office. Other improvements include a media center, art and music rooms.