Why This Project
The mission statement of the ESBC is “To facilitate a solution to the operational and educational constraints of Elmwood School that will be supported by the citizens of Hopkinton and the MSBA.”
Why do we need to replace the Elmwood School?
The current Elmwood was built in 1964 to house grades 4-6 with significant additions and renovations completed in 1989, which brought the square footage to approximately 79,000 sq. ft. It is currently the town’s oldest functioning school, which will be 60 years old this coming year. It is located on a parcel of land that is constricted on both the east and northwestern sides by a combination of the sloping topography, wetlands and a natural gas pipeline; these obstacles limit full development of the site. Across the first floor, the building has five different levels that students need to traverse daily. All of these vertical connections do not meet current accessibility codes. The bathrooms, exits, entrances and many other elements are also not meeting current access codes and present barriers for those with special needs. The current and projected student populations exceed the current building’s capacity significantly. The space need for a 2-3 program of our size would be a building of 123,000 square feet or 55% larger than it is currently. This increase is a limiting factor given the constraints present on the site. The adaption of the building due to its limited height, systems and infrastructure between 30-60 years old, and mixed construction types would create additional significant spatial challenges, resulting in very low ceilings throughout and many build outs to conceal new systems and pathways for electronics, ductwork and technology wiring. The renovation to bring the Elmwood up to current standards would require stripping the current building down to structure and result in spaces that are compromised, while leaving some of the inherent inadequacies in place.