West Parish School // Gloucester, Massachusetts

The existing infrastructure serving the West Parish School was problematic having either exceeded its useful life or inadequate in serving a twenty-first century school. Most of the instructional spaces were either undersized or non-existent. Challenging site conditions existed with wetlands, a perennial stream, steep slopes, limited buildable area, and a single site access point. With all of the relevant data collected and analyzed, the best solution was to construct an all new, three-story facility in approximately the same location as the existing building.

To accommodate students during construction, D+W prepared swing space on an alternate site. The final design aligns with the District’s educational model, reflects the local architectural aesthetic, and provides a facility that students are excited to attend. The planning of the building organizes instructional spaces into three grade-level learning communities.  The design provides public and private zones to allow community use of the facility while maintaining security throughout the building. The architectural expression utilizes elements from the City of Gloucester’s rich heritage and allows portions of the physical plant to serve as a teaching tool.  Finally, carefully selected and positioned graphics  on the interior help to create excitement and personal spaces in a meaningful way.

Project Details

Owner Gloucester Public Schools
Completed 2016
Cost $30.1 million
SQ. FT. 65,679
Photographer Steve Brown