Windham Southeast Supervisory Union hired Stevens & Associates to conduct the Academy School Expansion Feasibility Study (completed 12/19) that would improve existing spaces and create new ones to foster an environment of academic achievement for students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and those receiving academic support. These new spaces would not only be the safest, healthiest, and most environmentally-friendly but also within the Supervisory Union’s budget.
The study focused on two main areas of the school—the “Resource Room” and “Casa Blanca.” The Resource Room is used by students with IEPs. It is poorly laid out, open, noisy and not adequately sized for the small group and one-on-one instruction and activities that take place throughout the school day. Casa Blanca is an outdated, used modular building, separated from the main building. It was added to the school grounds in 2008 to accommodate the growing student need for academic support services. In addition to chronic water intrusion, rot and air leakage, Casa Blanca suffers from the same space size and quality issues as the Resource Room.
Through thoughtful design, S&A found solutions for mitigating overcrowding conditions by sub-partitioning the Resource Room and demolishing Casa Blanca (recycling/salvaging/reusing the materials) and constructing a new addition onto the Academy School building to accommodate academic support services. The resulting spaces would improve student focus and attention through the use of visual and acoustical separations and address indoor comfort and air quality issues with improved heading and outdoor ventilation using environmentally-friendly and energy efficient products, processes, mechanical equipment, and design. In addition to enhancing the efficiency of Academy School’s operations, S&A’s recommended improvements would provide spaces conducive to academic achievement and success for both students and teachers.