John Walton Spencer School No. 16

Built in 1910, John Walton Spencer Elementary School 16 has received several additions – each with its own look – leaving the school a mishmash of design styles, presenting SWBR a two-fold challenge – modernizing and expanding the facility while preserving historic features, and unifying the building’s look and flow.

In one of the school’s original classrooms, wood cubbies with “garage” doors, chalkboards and rails were preserved; while the wood transom doors, metal ceilings, woodwork, columns, cornice, entrance, bell tower and stained glass windows were restored. All classrooms were renovated, replacement windows designed to match the originals, and wood grain metal security doors hung. The original gym was converted into a library, and an addition built for the new gym with stage and food services, along with another 2-classroom addition. Throughout, joists were reinforced, sloping floors leveled, the roof replaced, structural and masonry repairs made; tile, a new sprinkler system and accessibility ramps added. Outside, additional parking and a bus curb cuts were added.

Completed in 2018, the school provides returning students and staff a modernized, functional facility, with much of its original beauty intact.


  • Size84,309 SF
  • Cost 31.5M
  • Completion 2018


AIA Mayor’s Award Construction Specifications Institute Outstanding Project Award