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springfield technical community college

The elegant historic brick buildings on the Springfield Technical Community College campus in Springfield, MA, formerly the Springfield Armory, date back to the early nineteenth century. Building 11, once known as the West Arsenal, is the oldest surviving armory structure on the site and one of the oldest in the City of Springfield. Constructed in 1808 as a two-story building, Building 11 was enlarged and renovated for use as a finishing shop during the Civil War before being re-outfitted as an army barracks in 1877.

OMR was engaged to conduct a feasibility study, including complete systems and code review, to thoroughly evaluate Building 11 and two other historic buildings on the Springfield Technical Community College campus. This study resulted in state funding for the historic exterior restoration of Building 11, which was completed in 2004.

The main project goal was to provide long-term stability to the exterior façade while restoring and maintaining the building’s original historic character. OMR placed major emphasis on the value of maximizing re-use of all existing materials. Sensitive treatment to buildings and grounds required all excavation to be performed by hand and in concert with a state archeologist. Wood porch elements were restored to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Building Restoration and all other modern building elements, such as existing electrical conduit, were re-installed in a concealed and unobtrusive manner.

Following the exterior restoration of Building 11, OMR was selected to perform a feasibility study for reuse of the Building 11 interior. This study resulted in a complete interior renovation project in support of the Municipal Police Training Committee, with Building 11 now serving as the training academy for the western half of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. While providing modern services for 21st century law enforcement training, the building again retains its connection to the past through appropriate detailing and use of materials. Accessibility was also sensitively integrated, including a graceful sloping walkway for porch access and reintroduction of an elevator. The building program includes classrooms, computer labs, physical fitness, range/simulator and administrative offices. The existing structure was upgraded with supplemental steel framing. All mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and technology infrastructure is new, and the HVAC system incorporates heat pump units with an open-loop geothermal source, one of the first such systems employed by the Commonwealth.