The following district presented on the progress of their proposed project at the May 19, 2021 Massachusetts School Building Authority (the “MSBA”) Facilities Assessment Subcommittee (the “FAS”) Meeting:
City of Westfield
Franklin Avenue Elementary School
Current Phase: Feasibility Study
Owner’s Project Manager: P-Three, Inc.
Designer: CBA Architects
The City of Westfield (the “District”), the Owner’s Project Manager, and design team presented an overview of the options studied during the Feasibility Study and the District’s preferred solution to replace the existing Franklin Avenue Elementary School and the existing Abner Gibbs Elementary School on the site of the existing Franklin Avenue Elementary School, contingent upon the District gaining full ownership, control, and exclusive use of the proposed site. The FAS, MSBA staff, and the District discussed: site circulation; appreciation for the separation of the parking from the main entrance; clarification of the massing; the building’s civic presence and character of the school on Franklin Street; appreciation for the educational program; consideration for environmental concerns related to flooding associated with the nearby river and permeability of hard and softscapes; access to the building and outdoor play spaces for individuals with limited mobility; outdoor learning spaces; the location and means of egress relating to the maker spaces/STEAM rooms; appreciation of dedication to a licensed librarian in the Library/ Media Center; number of sinks in each classroom; consideration for flexible or retractable walls in adjoining classrooms; appreciation of the kiln room redesign to address potential chemical safety concerns; appreciation for the distribution of Special Education spaces; and, clarification regarding the design of the small group rooms.
MSBA staff is currently working with the District to reach a mutually agreeable solution to recommend to the MSBA’s Board of Directors.