QA+M Pulse

QA+M selected to design $54-million Magnet Arts School
September 18, 2018

The transition of Bristol’s historic Memorial Boulevard School into an arts magnet school took a major step forward as the committee in charge selected QA+M Architecture as the architect for the project. 

Originally constructed in 1921, the landmark 96,000-square-foot building in the heart of downtown Bristol was known as Bristol High School until the school system closed it in 2012. The engagement of QA+M Architecture is the next step in reviving this vacant four-story facility into a performing arts magnet school for local students in grades 6-12. The project will also preserve the building’s 900-seat theater — the City of Bristol’s largest performance space. Officials have discussed the potential for using the theater for concerts, plays, and other public performances when school is not in session. The anticipated project budget is $54 million.

The building is listed on the Connecticut Register of Historic Places as a historic structure. QA+M distinguished itself throughout the architectural selection process for its creativity, vision, and approach to the project. Located in their new headquarters in Farmington, QA+M offers Bristol its education facility design experience, in-house historic preservation expertitse, as well as its significant portfolio of theater and performing arts renovations.

Rusty Malik, AIA, Principal in Charge, will lead a seasoned interdisciplinary project team that includes Design Principal Kent McCoy, AIA, Project Manager Angela Cahill, AIA, and Educational Planner Dan Davis, AIA. “QA+M Architecture is looking forward to working with Bristol to preserve this landmark building, and utilize its space in a creative way for an intradistrict magnet arts school with an extraordinary theater,” said Rusty Malik.  


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QA+M Architecture is a full-service architectural firm that provides programming, planning and interior design for clients in commercial, community, education, healthcare, historical, housing, and recreational/athletic markets. Staffed by 33 dedicated professionals, including 15 licensed architects, QA+M has grown to be the 4th largest architectural firm in the Greater Hartford area.


195 Scott Swamp Rd, Farmington, CT 06032


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