from the notebook

Longfellow Elementary School


After serving as a schoolhouse for the children of Cranberry Isles for over 100 years, the Longfellow School had fallen into a state of extreme disrepair.


Facilities Assessments

Although it could not be used as a school, the building did continue to benefit the community as an assembly space and public library.

There was a great deal of community involvement and input during this project. The school is attached to the town library, and both buildings are used year-round by island residents and visitors. It quickly became evident that restoring the school was a project of great historical and emotional significance to many people. We conducted community brainstorming and input meetings, and received opinions and advice from many stakeholders. We organized the various ideas from these meetings and assisted the School Board members with analyzing and prioritizing this input.

The main objectives for this project were to bring the building up to current fire and life safety codes, as well as provide accessibility improvements in compliance with the ADA. We also upgraded the aging heating system and designed energy efficiency improvements to the building envelope.

We also performed an investigation of the structural system. We discovered the building was deficient: neither the first nor second floors were built to support the structural loads required to safely use the building. Our work corrected these structural issues.

We also reconfigured the interior to provide new spaces for conferences, storages, a kitchenette, and a second bathroom. The schoolhouse is now used for Cranberry Isles elementary students.

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