West Bristol School
Bristol, CT

2013 Connecticut Building Congress (CBC) Annual Project Team Awards
Project Awarded FIrst Place in K-12 category

West Bristol School Project Team – Owner, Bristol Public Schools; Designer: DRA; Constructor: Gilbane Building Company.




West Bristol School is located on a 26-acre site of a dormant farm.  A significant challenge was to “choreograph” the circulation to control the confluence of the younger and older student bodies. The radial plan with self sufficient wings separates each “school” while interaction can be planned in spaces like the lobby, library and cafeteria.  Panels with specific graphics associated with either the middle or elementary school aid in wayfinding.

The design includes classroom space for 100 students per grade and offers flexibility in the gym, media center and cafeteria to support a variety of academic and community functions. The cafeteria is “zoned” with moveable panels that subtly separate the elementary and middle school populations.   Outdoor seating and perching stones provide gathering space.  Break-out spaces are “carved-out” in the corridors with accent lighting, canopies, “sitting islands” on the floors and translucent marker boards for small group assembly.  Large murals relate historical information about Bristol and Connecticut.


New Construction
121,600 SF
$34.1 million Construction Cost


Principal in Charge:

James A. Barrett, AIA, LEED


Project Manager:

Scot Woodin, AIA

To learn more about this project, services provided, and our Public & Charter K-12 practice, please email us:


Massachusetts Studio
235 Bear Hill Road, Fourth Floor
Waltham, MA 02451
T. 617.964.1700
F. 617.964.1701

Connecticut Studio
225 Oakland Road, Studio 205
South Windsor, CT 06074
T. 860.644.8300
F. 860.644.8301


Portfolio - DRA Architects