Project of the Month: Acella Construction completes work on new Cohen Center for Fitness and Recreation at Riverview School

April 16, 2021 - Construction Design & Engineering

East Sandwich, MA Acella Construction Corp., a leader in construction management throughout greater Boston, has completed work on Riverview School’s new Cohen Center for Fitness and Recreation. The school celebrated the completion with a ribbon-cutting held last month.

Riverview School is an independent, coeducational boarding/day school. Established in 1957, Riverview is a leader in educating students, ages 11-21, with complex language and learning challenges that include Autism, Down Syndrome, and intellectual disabilities.

Riverview School is also Acella Construction’s longest tenured client, having partnered with Acella since its inception almost 20 years ago.

Acella’s work at Riverview School included demolition of the existing gym and ground-up construction of a new, $11 million, 40,000 s/f state-of-the-art wellness center. Specifically, Acella completed asbestos abatement work and installed an elevator, gymnasium, gymnasium divide curtain, scoreboards, climbing wall, basketball hoops, operable bleachers, meditation room with sensory lighting, a cycling room, basketball court, volleyball court, TRX room, and custom wall graphics.

Some of the more challenging elements of the project included the gymnasium roof, which was comprised of 85-foot trusses. Meticulous planning was involved to coordinate delivery and installation due to their size, as was incredible accuracy in their placement by the steel erector. Additionally, the new building is located on a hill on the school’s campus; water infiltration of the new foundation was of top concern throughout design. Acella ensured the waterproofing and damp-proofing of the entire foundation, as well as managed stormwater runoff throughout construction of the project.

The space offers greater opportunities for student and staff participation in athletics, yoga, and movement, including cycling classes; an indoor track for walking, running, and/or track training; fitness classes including TRX and functional training; dance classes; mindfulness classes including guided relaxation and yoga; an indoor Adventure Education space to offer a complete experience with traverse wall, low elements and cooperative team equipment; and expanded basketball and volleyball opportunities with increased court space and more accessible equipment. Overall, the new Cohen Center expands the school’s wellness programming exponentially.

Acella’s project manager Mike Towle worked in collaboration with Jennifer Hocherman, AIA, LEED AP at architectural firm SV Design, Siemasko + Verbridge and with the engineering firm Souza, True & Partners, Inc. Additionally, Acella coordinated with Glynn Electric, Lundy Plumbing, Enterprise Equipment Co. Inc., and Professional Fire Systems Inc.

“Given our longevity with Riverview School, it’s exciting to once again be part of their campus transformation toward providing more opportunities and resources for their students and staff,” said Ryan LaVangie, vice president of sales & marketing for Acella Construction. “The new Cohen Center for Fitness and Recreation is a true gem, offering holistic wellness possibilities for everyone in a beautiful structure.”

Riverview School project team:
Acella Construction Corp - General Contractor
• Glynn Electric - Electrical
• Top Coat Services - Flooring
• Greener Horizon - Landscape Services



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