Project Type: New
Construction Cost: $34.8M
Size: 141, 500 SF

Performing Arts

Performing Arts for Boston Middle Schools

Boston, MA

Boston Public Schools’ goal  to build new middle schools promoting the concept of small learning communities, also provided an opportunity to redevelop the City’s neighborhoods.

DRA provided design for both the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School and the Mildred Avenue Middle School.

In siting the  Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School on Columbia Road in Dorchester, a major vital roadway, DRA held the streetline, reinforced the three-story masonry appearance, while also creating a courtyard.

The round element at the southern corner, housing the library reading room, acts as an announcement of the entrance and creates a gateway to an inner courtyard. This plaza is surrounded on three sides by the school and on the fourth by ledge, forming a private space away from the street for the main entrance to the building.

While red brick was used in the skin of the building, traditional materials were used in a way that is forward thinking. The use of colors and textures, the rounded element and metal panels produce a modern looking building that has helped develop neighborhood civic pride in the structure. The fabric of the neighborhood has been enhanced by the installation of a new traffic light, crosswalks, new MBTA bus stops (which also allows students easier access to the school) and green space behind the building.

The surrounding community was heavily involved in the development of the school design. Over 20 community meetings were held to gather input that influenced everything from site selection to interior color schemes. The building has received a very positive local reception and the neighborhood has developed a real ownership of the building.

The result is a beautiful, state-of-the-art building with auditorium, gymnasium, ceramics studio, dance studio, choral and instrumental music, and science and technology labs.

The Mildred Avenue Middle School located in the Mattapan section of Boston on a brownfield site, was designed with an adjoining community center. The building provides a variety of unique spaces to accommodate student needs. Small-group rooms, cluster spaces, and multi-purpose labs support interdisciplinary teaching teams.

The new center provides recreational facilities for all ages. The six-lane competitive pool with balcony seating and family viewing area has been a welcome addition to the community. The center also provides a large gymnasium and auditorium suitable for a variety of meeting presentations and activities.

Project Leadership

Carl R. Franceschi, AIA

LEED AP BD+C | President | Principal
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