Facility Design | News

5 Massachusetts Counties Unveil New Campuses

Elementary and high school students at five Massachusetts schools kicked off the 2012 school year on brand new campuses this month. Grafton High, Tewksbury Memorial High, Wellesley High, Billerica Parker Elementary, and Stow Pompositticut Center Elementary recently wrapped up construction of new classrooms and facilities designed to support collaborative, technology-based learning.

The design for the new campuses came from Cambridge, MA-based architectural firm Symmes Maini & McKee Associates (SMMA). The architecture supports the schools' objectives for learning, sustainability, and technology integration. Classrooms and learning spaces, including libraries, language labs, and media centers, are designed to foster collaboration and student-centric learning. Three of the schools--Billerica Parker Elementary, Wellesley High, and Stow Pompositticut Center Elementary—include new systems and lighting aimed at boosting energy efficiency. All of the schools feature technologies such as interactive white boards, video conferencing tools, and Wi-Fi networks that support goals for 21st century teaching and learning.

The new campuses reflect a departure from traditional school design and a move toward a more interactive, social learning environment, said Alex Pitkin, director of institutional practice for SMMA, in a prepared statement. “Each of these new schools, and the design strategies behind each," explained Pitkin, "share common goals within learning environments where students can develop individual creativity, collaboration skills, and form positive bonds with peers, teachers and staff. ”

The new schools have received positive reviews from students, faculty, administrators, and members of the community, according to the prepared statement. "This is an investment," said Andrew Deslaurier, chairman of Billerica's Board of Selectmen. "This transforms an entire community."

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].