School ties

Schools are at the heart of what make communities thrive and prosper. The Harriman Pre K–12 Education Studio works closely with educators and communities across northern New England to cultivate learning through inspiring environments built on emerging best practices in education. They are currently completing work with Portland Public Schools on the design of the final three of four renovation projects that are part of the “Building for Our Future” (BFOF) program. BFOF is an initiative to renovate four of Portland’s oldest elementary schools: the Lyseth, Longfellow, Presumpscot, and Reiche Elementary Schools. Targeted improvements address twenty-first-century learning values, safety and security, and greater equity in Portland’s schools. Renovations to Lyseth Elementary School were completed in 2021.

Through a robust community engagement process and dialogue with Portland Public Schools, the Harriman team distilled a simple design statement for the Reiche School project: to create an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity, fosters collaboration, embraces nature, and integrates into the urban fabric. In addition to addressing pressing issues such as adding classrooms, creating secure entrances, and improving accessibility, the renovation work at Reiche aims to create a place that is dynamic and engaging for the students. Flexible furniture and open volumes let learning happen everywhere and accommodate a range of teaching and learning formats. Transparent surfaces and a vibrant color palette foster connections to nature and across the school community.

Location: Portland
Architect: Harriman: Mark D. Lee and Lisa D. Sawin
Project status: under construction
Estimation construction complete: Spring 2024

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