Draft of 1st floor design

The Joint Building Committee wishes to provide the community with the following update about efforts to build a new K-5 elementary school.

Following a comprehensive review, City and school officials moved forward with a plan to build a new 68,000-square-foot school on Salmon Falls Road. The school will house about 420 students, ease overcrowding at other schools, and improve educational equity for students.

The Committee met on Oct. 11 with Banwell Architects, which provided members with preliminary designs including the building exterior plus classroom and cafeteria layouts. Banwell also created an “aspirational” classroom, which focuses on natural lighting and materials, flexible space, and state-of-the-art technology.

The Committee also met with the civil engineering firm Tighe & Bond to discuss site design. The full presentation may be found here. A short video about the school building project page may be found here.

The school project is anticipated to cost about $33.6 million. The Rochester City Council voted on Wednesday, Oct. 18 to approve funding of $15.5 million toward the school. The State Department of Education ranks the Rochester project at the top of the funding list in the 2024 cycle, and is expected to provide $15.77 million in support. The Rochester project is ranked number one on the state priority list, meaning it is almost certain the new school will be state-funded.

About the Joint Building Committee

The Joint Building Committee is charged with overseeing the development and construction of a new K-5 Elementary School. School Board Member Sarah Harrington serves as Chair, while City Councilor Donald Hamann serves as Vice Chair. Also serving are City Councilors Paul Callaghan, Alexander de Geofroy, Tim Fontneau and Amy Malone, and School Board members Matthew Beaulieu, Anne Grassie, Paul Lynch, and Matthew Pappas.

The Committee meets monthly. Its next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 9. The public is invited to attend and participate during the open comment period.

Meetings are recorded and are available on both the School Department website and SAU 54 YouTube channel.