Enfield Montessori School
The Enfield Montessori School, a mission outreach of the Felician Sisters of America, brought JCJ Architecture on board to determine the feasibility of relocating their School from its original location which was no longer adequate to support their programs to an existing building on the Felician Sisters’ campus located on the historic Enfield Town Green. The new location, a 1960’s concrete structure, was originally home to the Felician Sisters Archive and was known on the campus as the Heritage Center.
Challenges included working within the Enfield Historic District, developing queuing to accommodate buses and parent drop off, staff and visitor parking and play spaces in coordination with the other users on the campus, and working within the existing cast-in-place concrete infrastructure of the building to create friendly, flexible, comfortable spaces for learning. JCJ developed a concept around a central gathering space with a beautiful existing central open stair providing the opportunity to build community within the school. In addition to the increased daylighting throughout, this building was transformed according to the precepts of Maria Montessori with natural materials and simple color schemes that let the teaching tools be the focus while providing additional teaching spaces to allow for the anticipated expansion of the early childhood program.