Banks School Condominiums, Waltham


Provide architectural and engineering design services associated with the conversion of the former Banks School into condominiums for the City of Waltham. 


The conversion of the former school, which had been vacant, was phased to allow 1/3 of the building to be converted and sold at a time with City funds. 

The building, located in a local historic district, had a lot of potential with custom period built-ins; chair rails and chalkboards were retained.  Individual classrooms were developed into one and two bedroom housing units for the elderly.  Ancillary spaces such as storage rooms and offices were converted, as well, into usable space.  Spaces along the windows were slated for occupiable units while interior space were utilized for storage, laundry and common areas.  The existing gymnasium was set aside for exclusive City owned activities such as voting, and the central auditorium was  preserved as common social space for the residents. 

The first phase of the conversion included the necessary code upgrades to the entire building including plumbing, fire protection, egress and electrical upgrades and services.  This phase also included the planning for the full build-out of the building, but only the conversion of the top floor and renovations to the egress pathways and stairs.  The renovations took advantage of natural brick ventilating shafts for mechanical, electrical and plumbing chases.

The second and third phases of this project included the conversion of the lower floors.  The building now contains a total of 24 residential units.