design thinkers blog
k-12 education
[hero image]

Weaver High School and Doc Hurley Fieldhouse


the backstory

SLAM with Associate Architect, Amenta Emma, was selected to provide Hartford’s North End community with a transformed campus for the 40-year-old high school located on Granby Street. Weaver will be transformed into a theme-driven community school for grades 9-12 that offers students three career themes under one roof. High School, Inc. offers education for students interested in the Insurance and Finance industries, Journalism & Media Academy offers education for students interested in entering a Broadcast Production or Media focused field, and R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of the Performing Arts offers education in Theatrical Arts. The project also includes major renovations to Weaver’s Doc Hurley Fieldhouse.


Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Programming & Planning
Hartford, CT
High School Completed 2019; Field House Est. Completion 2020
270,000 SF

This project is part of a much larger comprehensive, integrated plan to reconfigure the district. By 2022, Hartford Public Schools will have gone from 48 to 41 schools, from 43 to 31 facilities, and will release the operation of 12 facilities. This is all part of a strategic operating plan to provide nothing but the best of opportunities to all Hartford Public School students under the District Model for Excellence.


“The District Model for Excellence is a comprehensive plan that was created by the Hartford community – parents, students, teachers, faith-based leaders, businesses, higher education, community organizations and government stakeholders – to create equitable access to great, high-quality schools for every child.”

Built in 1974, the 37,000 SF Weaver was initially designed for 2,000 students. A few building components were built larger than what is typically reimbursed by today’s standards but deemed too valuable to the school and as a resource to the neighborhood to demolish and rebuild at a smaller size. 


To reflect the projected enrollment of 900 students, the project removed the academic wing’s 100,000 SF fifth floor and gut renovated the rest of the building. Three existing schools with established curricula will be co-located into the newly renovated building and all will have access to renovated auditorium and field house, and an array of specialty spaces. 


Faculty will not have assigned classrooms, but move between different areas of the building and use lockers to store personal belongings. Only 18 traditional classrooms and six science labs will remain, leaving space for specialized areas such as a broadcast booth for the school radio station, WQTQ, a black box theater and a dance studio.


The decision to use synthetic turf was made to allow for multi-sport competition throughout the the year. Along with initial cost, expense was saved as an irrigation system will not be required. 


Project Contact

“Our shared goal is to provide Weaver with a learning environment that aligns them with the highest performing Connecticut schools, transforming the existing facility into a desired destination for faculty and students.”

860 368.2319

related projects

[case study]
The Frederick Gunn School
Washington, CT