With dozens of K-12 school projects in our portfolio, LPA|A is arguably best known for our work in this arena. Our approach is to immerse ourselves in the culture and community of the school and district, and collaboratively develop program and context-driven designs.
Designing for Everyone
The decision to replace the aging Nelson Place Elementary School in Worcester with a new building provided an opportunity to create a learning environment that could be a model for inclusiveness. The school supports the district-wide autism program in addition to serving students across a wide spectrum of abilities and disabilities. The entire team on the project was eager to make the most of this opportunity, researching the best possible options for lighting, technology, furniture, colors, and textures, to create an school where students of all abilities could thrive. The 600-student, 112,000 square foot school serves pre-K through 6th grade, and includes an early childhood assessment center serving children district-wide.
An Inspiring New Space
The students of Beal Elementary in Shrewsbury will benefit from a unique partnership facilitated by the design team. Well-known children’s book author and illustrator Peter Reynolds signed on to create a mural for the new school, after having created one for the original school back in 2005. Generously funded by local philanthropist Robert “Chief Joseph” Terkanian, the coordination and installation of the mural are just small pieces of a large and complex project, but having a one-of-a kind work of art featured prominently across two floors from the lobby into the media center will prove to be an inspiring and remarkable space for the community.
Beyond Traditional Learning Opportunities
The Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School (Monty Tech) approached LPA|A with a unique project to design a veterinary clinic that would be built by the students of the school under the supervision of their instructors. Twenty instructors in eight different trades and 200 students built the clinic, and now that it is open, many more students will receive invaluable hands-on training in the state-of-the-art facility.
In Service to the Community
A number of staff from LPA|A have volunteered with Worcester’s Upward Bound’s summer program, giving feedback to high school students on their final group architectural projects. The seven-week program brings students from the Worcester Public Schools, who would be the first in their families to enter college, to the Clark University campus for an academic, residential enrichment experience.
“I really enjoyed volunteering for the Upward Bound summer course. I gave students an overview of design drawings and scale drawing, attended their mid-course presentations, and particularly appreciated having the opportunity to sit in on their final presentations at Clark,” said LPA|A Architect Natalie Gabrielle.