North Andover School Department Administration Building

Located at the site of the old police station, the new administrative offices are centrally situated, in close proximity to the high school, the middle school, and an elementary school. During the design phase, the possibility of re-using the old police station building was thoroughly explored. But the two-story structure was poorly constructed, had a very low floor-to-floor height, contained hazardous materials, lacked natural light, and required that offices be inconveniently located on different floor levels. It was more cost effective and functional for the school department to demolish the police station and build new, rather than adding onto the old and renovating it. The new 12,000 SF single-story building successfully stayed under budget by utilizing a simple structural system of exterior load-bearing wood framed walls with brick veneer, and pre-fabricated wood roof trusses. The clear-spanning trusses also provide good flexibility for the planning of interior spaces. The massing design of two hipped roof sections with a small flat-roofed connecter helps create a small and low scale that fits nicely into the residential neighborhood. The flat roof also provides a less visible location for the rooftop mechanical equipment. A half-level change helps nestle the building into its sloping site. This rear section contains a meeting room that is served by an after-hours public entrance and is connected to the offices on the main level with a wheelchair lift.