The new West Elementary and Shawsheen Pre-K School will support grades PreK-5 with an enrollment of 130 PreK Students and 925 K-5 students. The building will be located to the west and behind the current West El and will have a total of 191,028 gross square feet. The site measures 33.99 acres and is made up of 5 contiguous lots, some of which are heavily wooded with numerous wetlands. The site development includes approximately 266 dedicated parking spaces, play structures, open field play and paved play areas and two ball fields. Dedicated bus lanes and parent drop off/pick up are designed to alleviate the current traffic congestion and safety concerns. The building is being designed as an all-electric building, to achieve Net Zero Ready when open.
The plan configuration for the new facility is made up of three classroom wings and a gymnasium wing organized around a central core that contains shared program spaces serving the school. The building features a mix of single story high-bay spaces for the Music and PE curriculums, two story construction incorporating the main entry and Media Center as well as the Shawsheen Pre-K wing, and three-story construction that incorporates all the K-4 grade level classroom spaces in two three-story wings with the 5th grade classrooms oriented around a roof garden with greenhouse on the third floor of the central core.
The main West El entry flows into a lobby area that opens to the Cafetorium, and is flanked by the main administration area, offering a passive view of students and visitors as they pass through the security vestibule upon entry. The Gymnasium and associated spaces are located north of the Cafetorium. Music classrooms are located directly behind the Cafetorium Platform to allow them to function in a green room capacity, and art spaces are located on the first floor as part of one of the two three-story academic wings. The media center is positioned on the second floor, just above the main entrance and administration area.
The two-story Shawsheen Pre-K wing is connected to the K-5 program spaces through a small and transparent hallway, providing desired autonomy for the program which is currently located in a different building in a different area of Town. The Pre-K wing has its own main entrance and admin area, which will simplify the circulation within the site and provide the Pre-K program with its own sense of identity.