Connecticut Building Congress Honors New Sandy Hook School

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The Connecticut Building Congress (CBC) will recognize the community as well as several project team members for their work in building the new Sandy Hook School in Newtown.

Among those recognized include the Town of Newtown; Consigli Construction Co. Inc., of Milford, Mass.; architecture firm Svigals+Partners of New Haven, Conn.; and owner’s representative STV|DPM, with multiple national locations. The award recognizes projects that exemplify project team excellence and represent the best practices in teamwork by project owners, architects, engineers, constructors and trades. The team will formally accept the 2017 Project Teams Award at a presentation on June 13.

“The powerful purpose of this project was never lost on us from day one,” said Matthew Consigli, president of Consigli in a statement. “It was truly an honor to be a partner on this special project, and we couldn’t have asked for a better team.”

The state-of-the-art, 88,000-square-foot school serves PreK-4 students and opened its doors last fall. The project followed a 32-month timeline that included extensive public engagement, careful planning and design, and best-in-class construction management practices. The school’s design was inspired by a strong sense of community as well as by the inherent natural beauty of Newtown, according to a statement by Consigli Construction.

The final design includes a curving plan that reaches out across the site like arms in a welcoming gesture to students, according to statement from Consigli Construction, and features three separate classroom wings that extend like fingers of an open hand. A total of three courtyards and one outdoor amphitheater serve as an outdoor classroom and space for school events.

Other features of the project include two rubber-surfaced playgrounds, wood siding and colorful vertical sunshades in orange, red and yellow that bring bright stripes of color to the school’s exterior and address the east-west sun angles.

The school is designed for security, but security features do not dominate the campus. After passing through a series of checkpoints and a surveillance gate to access the main entrance, students, staff and visitors encounter several layers of parking and bus lanes that serve as subtle buffers. Impact-resistant windows simultaneously offer ample daylight as well as direct views to the school’s exterior, and all classrooms can be locked from within.

The replacement school, which came in under budget, was funded by a $50 million state grant and was also the first in the state to comply with Connecticut’s new School Safety Infrastructure Council guidelines.