The conversion of an abandoned riverfront mill site into a modern 21st Century educational campus for two new middle schools was hailed by the City of Woonsocket as “one of the most important and successful projects in the city’s 125-year history”.
The site, located on a former industrial site of the late 1800s / early 1900s, contained three four-story masonry mill buildings, one historically significant two-story masonry administration building, one masonry and steel production building, and one historically significant guard headquarters building. The site also contained several abandoned slab and foundation assemblies from previously burned and/or demolished buildings as well as known and unknown pollutants and contaminates, all of which had to be investigated and remediated as part of the project. The project included re-use of two of the historically significant buildings on the site and incorporation of these buildings into the educational program. The architectural design includes subtle references to the former mill buildings and factories that once occupied the site.
Due to the extreme complexities associated with this site, development required collaboration between the Design/Construction/Owner team and numerous State and City departments including the Department of Environmental Management, the Army Corp of Engineers, Department of Education, Historic Preservation Commission, the owners of the existing buildings on the site (to be purchased/demolished), City Council, School Department, Department of Planning, Building Department, Conservation Commission, and the Department of Public Works.
The final project, which was a CM-at-Risk collaboration and delivered on a fast-track schedule, included the construction of two new 128,000 sq. ft. middle schools that accommodate 1,760 pupils and over 200 faculty, staff, and administration members.
“I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the role Ai3 has played in bringing this important project towards its successful completion. Ai3’s attentiveness and steadfast commitment to the project have made a real impact in our community and on the lives of our young people for years to come.”