Finegold Alexander Architects and Gladstone Elementary School Break Ground in Cranston, RI

Gladstone Elementary School

BOSTON– Finegold Alexander Architects celebrated the groundbreaking of new ground-up Gladstone Elementary School, on Thursday, July 20th.

Cranston Superintendent of Schools Jeannine Nota-Masse, Mayor Kenneth Hopkins, School Committee Chairperson, Citywide, Michael Traficante, School Committee Clerk Domenic Fusco, Cranston City Council representative John Donegan, and RI Dept. of Education’s Director of the School Building Authority, Mario Carreno, spoke at the event, as well as the Gladstone administrative team, Principal Amy Vachon and Assistant Principal Amy Corso-Latos.

Finegold Alexander has worked closely with the City of Cranston and Cranston Public Schools to design the new facility that will consolidate both Gladstone and Arlington Elementary Schools, educating roughly 798 students in grades K-5. The new 100,000 square-foot school design is a true reflection of an innovative way of reinventing the learning environment.

Rather than lining classrooms along a central corridor, the building will be arranged with six Learning Communities within 3+ stories. Learning Communities are each designed as single suites of interconnected rooms. Curiosity Centers with purpose-built music, art, library, and maker spaces serve to connect the Learning Communities on each floor.

On the first floor, the social heart and cafetorium will serve as a safe and secure space for the community. Gathering platforms will be located within the building, offering opportunities for informal seating and social interactions for students, teachers, and parents alike.

Learning extends beyond the building enclosure to the larger site. Three outdoor learning areas, multiple playgrounds, playing fields, and a community garden will encourage outdoor activities. Finegold Alexander’s design will create a compact building footprint and promote energy efficiency, leveraging the existing site topography, and optimize the building’s solar orientation to maximize natural daylight and views for both educators and students.

“Finegold Alexander has been eager to break ground on the new Gladstone Elementary School and excited the day has finally come,” said Finegold Alexander Principal Regan Shields Ives. “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.”

Finegold Alexander Architects has delivered remarkable learning environments and received numerous awards and citations for our work for over 55 years. From public and private K-12 learning spaces throughout the greater New England area, their work is focused on the needs of each individual school. Cranston Public Schools selected Finegold Alexander to lead this project as the firm’s expertise and understanding of the school’s needs will help Gladstone continue to serve and provide for the students of Cranston, RI. The project is projected to be completed in the summer of 2025.