New Construction

Rhode Island District Breaks Ground on New Elementary School

Cranston Public Schools in Cranston, R.I., recently broke ground on a brand-new building for Gladstone Elementary School, according to a press release. The district partnered with architecture firm Finegold Alexander for the 100,000-square-foot facility that will consolidate two local elementary schools—Gladstone and Arlington Elementary School. The facility will have space for about 798 students in grades K–5, and completion is scheduled for summer 2025, the news release reports.

The building’s design will feature six learning communities across three stories. Each learning community serves as a single suite of interconnected rooms. Connecting the learning communities will be one Curiosity Center per floor, which will feature music, library, art, and maker spaces. The first floor will also include gathering spaces, informal seating, and the cafeteria.

Outdoor amenities will include three outdoor learning areas, playing fields, playgrounds, and a community garden. The school’s design intentionally creates a compact building footprint and promotes energy efficiency, orienting the building towards the sun to maximize daylight within the facility as much as possible.

“Finegold Alexander has been eager to break ground on the new Gladstone Elementary School and excited the day has finally come,” said Regan Shields Ives, Finegold Alexander Principal. “This innovative design creates opportunities for each child to learn in a unique environment that suits their learning needs, and we are honored to be a part of this transformational project.”

According to local news, the school’s gymnasium will have its own entrance so that the space can be used by the public at large. The construction is one of five major projects the district currently has in the oven. The district-wide renovations are part of a master plan put forward in 2018 to address the problem of aging facilities. A 2018 news article reports the average age of district facilities as 63.

“This new school will be a gamechanger for this neighborhood,” said Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins at the groundbreaking ceremony. “It will make Cranston more appealing for more and existing families to come to this area for decades to come. Preparing our students for the rest of their lives has never been more exciting than it is right now.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].