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Capital Preparatory Magnet School

Historic District Renovation & Addition

the story

To facilitate review of alternative options for the design, we scheduled a series of design workshops which included our consultants and the Owner, for the purpose of presenting conceptual designs and arriving at a team consensus for the project approach. Involving the engineers, revealed that to facilitate the construction schedule the structural system selected would drive the detailing of the addition. This allowed SLAM to produce an early bid package for site and steel and started construction earlier than anticipated. SLAM’s structural engineers were able to produce the fabrication drawings for the project during the OSF review cycle. What was previously considered wasted time waiting for the State to give their approval to go to bid, we utilized BIM for detailing the structural bid package. This allowed steel bidders to have fabrication drawings available at the time of bid, resulting in months saved on the schedule and tighter bids on the steel package.


Renovation and Addition
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Pre-Construction Services
Programming & Planning
Structural Engineering
Hartford, CT
Completed March 2010
108,613 GSF

The three goals of the project were: Renovation of the school while respecting the urban site and context, as well as the style, material, and color palette of the original building; Preservation of enough site area for an athletic field in support of a comprehensive athletic program and the downtown north community; Completion of the project on an aggressive schedule of 4 months design and 12 months construction. 


The exteriors of the existing building were completely restored to the original 1927 design, while incorporating new high performance double-hung windows and wood doors. The new gymnasium addition was designed to coordinate seamlessly with the style and character of the existing school building, in tune with the client’s vision. Special attention was paid to harmonizing the new addition’s façade with the color palette and subtle ornamentation of the original. All existing brick veneer was carefully cleaned and restored. The interior design preserved the elaborate ceiling of the existing auditorium, which was re-purposed as the school’s spacious new double-height library, while the original gymnasium was also re-purposed to serve as the new cafeteria.


A new cafeteria was once the original gymnasium.


The new spacious double-height library was once the auditorium. The elaborate ceiling was preserved during construction.

SLAM Converted Existing Areas into New Beautiful Spaces


Designing for LEED Certification in an existing historic structure can present a variety of unforeseen challenges. At Capital Prep High School, our team took advantage of designing our mechanical systems to not interfere with the natural daylight that existing large windows provided to lower level classrooms.


The new addition was located on the east end of the existing school to ensure enough space for a practice field and preservation of the surrounding landscape located around Keney Tower. The solution also provided a protected courtyard that separates Pleasant Street, a busy city street, from the outdoor recreation fields.   


The new building had such a profound impact on the Downtown North neighborhood and received the Hartford Preservation Alliance Award for rehabilitation and new construction. With the complexity of re-purposing existing spaces, our team was able to reduce energy consumption of the existing structure to help meet energy efficiency goals set for the project. 


Capital Preparatory Magnet School was designed to LEED Silver specifications.


SLAM was able to reduce energy consumption of the existing structure to help meet energy efficiency goals set for the project.


 The impact in Hartford’s Downtown North neighborhood was so profound that the school received the Hartford Preservation Alliance Award for rehabilitation and new construction.

Team Contact

Glen Gollenberg
860 368.2319

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