Town of Braintree
East Middle School Renovation + Expansion

Braintree, MA

The renovation and expansion of the Town of Braintree's East Middle School grew out of a town-wide redistribution of students and seeks to realign the aging 1961 school with Braintree Public School's strategic goals. The improvements will provide a building that is highly efficient, educationally appropriate, supportive of collaboration and programmatic connections, adaptable and flexible, and supportive of small learning communities within a larger school.

 Learning Commons

Learning Commons

East Middle School serves 1,180 students in grades 5-8. It operates with a “schools within a school” model, providing distinct academic clusters or “academies” for grades 5-6 and 7-8. Each wing reinforces the small school concept and enables the consolidation of the community-oriented, public spaces to provide easy, controlled access for the public.

A new, centrally located Learning Commons will be the hub for learning and innovation. It will occupy a previously underutilized courtyard and will be connected to separate Innovation Labs on either side — enhancing the small learning communities. A bright and energizing space, the Learning Commons features a saw-tooth roof with skylights to provide ample natural light. Flexible furniture will shape a range of learning environments for small, medium and large group activities, in addition to individual study.

 Approach to Main Entrance

Approach to Main Entrance


A hub for learning and innovation, the Learning Commons will be a defining feature for students with ample natural light and flexible environments. 


 Section view of the Learning Commons

Section view of the Learning Commons


Separate Academy Commons for grades 5-6 and 7-8 provide more intimate environments for focused group activities.


 Academy Commons

Academy Commons

Multiple renovation and expansion options were analyzed, considering estimated costs, construction schedules, benefits to energy performance, and impact on occupants. The scope of our renovation and expansion encompasses approximately 184,400 sf and reuses much of the existing school. Our approach improves the overall building layout while addressing existing building concerns. The expansion and site improvements minimize impact on the existing playfields and maximizes available parking capacity in the best location.

The project is targeting LEED Silver certification, seeking significant reductions to energy usage with improvements to the building envelope, sun shades, and roof mounted photovoltaic panels. Our approach allows the current student population to remain throughout construction, which will be phased to minimize impact to occupants.


 

A previously underutilized courtyard is being re-imagined as an active space for learning and socialization.

 

 Courtyard

Courtyard


 

Classrooms are flexible environments, supportive of a variety of teaching methods and student collaboration.

 

 Typical Classroom

Typical Classroom

 Typical Science Classroom

Typical Science Classroom

 Typical Science Classroom Diagram

Typical Science Classroom Diagram

 Lobby

Lobby

 Auditorium

Auditorium

 Cafeteria

Cafeteria


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