General Bryant E. Moore Center
The Bryant E. Moore School was built in 1929, with a major addition built in 1958. By 2008, the 29,000-s.f. building was abandoned as a school after years of deferred maintenance. The City of Ellsworth invested $4.5M to renovate the building into a much-needed community center. The two primary tenants provide childcare and senior services programs. We thus designed with code-required accessibility as well as the needs of very young and very old users in mind.
In addition to energy efficiency, systems and structural upgrades, we made significant improvements to accessibility and life safety. The four levels of the building are now all on accessible paths. Bathrooms are accessible. Special features support the needs of seniors and small children. Handrails in the senior areas help older people who appreciate something to help with balance. Lighting levels in the senior areas are also higher than normal, to aid those with failing vision. We added an elevator and ramps, as well as new stairs and corridors, overcoming a host of technical challenges. The 4-stop elevator inserted into the 1929 building was particularly challenging. A major design decision was to raise one floor by 16 inches in order to provide a usable ramp that could fit within the existing building. We maintained ceiling height by running systems under the new floor. Stairs were rebuilt with gentler, code-compliant treads and rails. Significant historic features were preserved and incorporated into the design.
This project was a 3-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.
We were able to make these improvements because of the City of Ellsworth’s commitment to affordable childcare and to the importance of senior services.