Florence Roche Elementary School Tops Off

Student representatives from Florence Roche Elementary School alongside members of the Gilbane, Leftfield, and Studio G Architects teams

Groton, MA – Officials from Groton Public Schools, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Town of Groton joined students, educators, and representatives from Leftfield, Studio G Architects, and Gilbane Building Company to celebrate the official topping off of the 110,000sf Florence Roche Elementary School.

Designed by Studio G, with Leftfield serving as owner’s project manager and Gilbane as construction manager, the new facility will address growing concerns regarding the state of the existing facility, originally constructed in the 1950s, and accommodate 645 students in grades K-4.

During ceremonial remarks, Jack McCarthy, executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), noted the continued success of the project team, commending the Town of Groton in assembling the collaborative team of Leftfield, Studio G, and Gilbane.

The new school will support 21st-century learning and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), two important components of Groton Dunstable Regional School District’s educational program. The 2-story design organizes grade-level learning neighborhoods into two academic wings with shared project areas, dedicated special education rooms, and support spaces. In addition, the cafeteria and gymnasium are located off the entry lobby for easy public access and feature a shared stage for performances in either area. Other shared learning spaces include a media center, outdoor learning lab, STEM lab with an outdoor patio for student projects, and music and art classrooms.

“This satisfying moment is a reminder of the intense diligent early work with our consultants EDG and RW Sullivan,” said Steve Michener, associate and senior project manager from Studio G Architects. “We look forward to continuing great teamwork with Gilbane and Leftfield to deliver the new Florence Roche Elementary School for the community of Groton.”

Since the start of construction in May of 2022, the project has maintained its schedule with over 34,000 safe and incident free trade hours. In achieving this milestone, the team took a collaborative approach in expediting the steel shop drawing review and approval periods to support the start of steel erection three weeks earlier than planned. This allowed the approximately 2,500 pieces, or 700 tons, of structural steel frame to be erected ahead of the New England winter months.

“We’re thrilled to successfully reach this very important construction milestone with the Town of Groton,” said Mike O’Brien, senior vice president and business unit leader for Gilbane in Massachusetts. “Topping off ceremonies are especially important, as they are a real celebration of our trade partners and I’d like to specifically commend the hard work that got us to this point by the men and women from Locals 429, 39, 4, 336, and 7.”

Florence Roche Elementary School is slated for completion by 2024.

“Leftfield is excited to see the design and future educational program and facility for Groton’s youngest learners become a reality,” said David Saindon, project executive at LeftField. In addition, we would like to praise the design team of Studio G and the construction management team of Gilbane for all of their hard work behind the scenes to hit this milestone on schedule while still being in a difficult supply chain environment.”