Town of Braintree
East Middle School Renovation + Expansion
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.
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.
A hub for learning and innovation, the Learning Commons will be a defining feature for students with ample natural light and flexible environments.
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.