New Building, Latham Centers Dormitory, Brewster, MA

Since 1970, Latham Centers, based out of Brewster, has provided residential care, treatment and education to intellectually challenged children and served as the North American leader in treating both children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). During its almost half-century existence, the Centers’ capabilities have grown significantly, along with the need for their services. Hand in hand with that growth came the need for new residential space. In August 2015, Cape Associates began construction of an 11,000 square-foot dormitory on the Latham Centers Brewster campus. The new facility includes 22 dormitory rooms, nine bathrooms, four living rooms, a study, dining room, student learning kitchen, two staff areas, and a three-stop elevator.

Architecturally, the building was designed to blend into the historical district in which it’s located. To diminish the perception of its size, two gabled ends appear to be separate structures, with the middle section a third entity. A farmer’s porch adds further appeal. Inside, the north and south wings are mirror images of each other, housing dormitory rooms at each end and shared living space in the center of the building.

Because the dormitory is the year-round home to its residents, functionality, durability and maintainability were primary considerations. The Cape Associates team chose James Hardie cementitious clapboard planks and shingles; the trim is rot-resistant AZEK. Interior floors are durable and easy-to-clean laminated vinyl tile throughout, except in the living rooms, which are carpeted.

The building conforms to ADA standards – it is fully accessible, has lower countertops, extra wide doorways, shower seats and alcoves for roll-in showers. Since the property abuts conservation land, measures were taken to enable storm water to be collected.

Project Manager Melissa Langford notes that the project was operationally challenging because the school was fully functioning throughout the construction process and therefore, it was of paramount importance that they keep the construction site secure and safe for the students on the property. Everyone involved on the project “took to heart” the protection of the students and staff and the building was safely and successfully completed.