Happy Hollow Elementary

Constructed in the early 1970s, the Happy Hollow Elementary School building was at the end of its useful life.  Not only did the building have settlement issues and water infiltration problems, but it also suffered from poor energy efficiency. Additionally, the school had no capacity for growth, and its location made circulation to and from the school challenging. For these reasons, the Fayetteville School District elected to construct a new 65,000--square-foot replacement school on an adjacent property with better access. At full capacity, the new Happy Hollow can serve 500 students. The design of the school takes inspiration from its namesake, Happy Hollow Farm.

Organized around a large courtyard with its primary view southeast towards the Boston Mountains, the building houses spaces designed for 21st Century learning. Sustainability is a critical element of the design. The project incorporates sustainable features throughout, including measures to control both quality and quantity of stormwater run-off, heat-reflective roofing and paving, irrigation free landscaping,  water-conserving plumbing fixtures, energy-efficient HVAC and electrical systems, regionally produced building materials, recycled building materials, low VOC content, and waste diverted from the landfill. The primary sustainability challenge to the project was placing the large single-story footprint (an owner requirement) on the sloping site. Designing the building to step down with the grade minimized onsite cut and fill as well as earthwork excavation. The building has seven different floor elevations, all connected by accessible ramps.