Project of the Month: Pariseault Builders transforms 75,000 s/f office building into 700 student Achievement First high school

November 10, 2023 - Rhode Island



Providence, RI Pariseault Builders recently completed a new high school for Achievement First (AF), a charter system that operates 41 schools across Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut. This is the first new high school building in Rhode Island for Achievement First and will accommodate up to 700 students 9th through 11th grade.

The 75,000 s/f building at 206 Elmwood Ave. was previously an office for the R.I. Department of Human Services, but after a full interior renovation, building envelope improvements, system upgrades and site work, the facility will now be used to prepare students for post educational opportunities and professional success in life.



“We really love building meaningful projects,” said Pariseault’s president, Brian Casey. “Schools and hospitals make up the bulk of our projects each year. While the world certainly needs gas stations and supermarkets, these projects simply mean more for the community.”

In early 2022, Achievement First began to search for a construction management firm specializing in educational and institutional work. Pariseault Builders and Kaestle Boos Associates were engaged to provide critical project information and preconstruction guidance that set the project on the path for success long before any physical work actually began. The design and construction needed to be in strict compliance with R.I. Department of Education processes and procedures as well as adhere to sustainability requirements from Northeast Collaborative for High Performance Schools.

This major renovation provides AF students and staff all the amenities you’d expect in a modern high school. Completed spaces include classrooms, offices, gymnasium, library, cafeteria, and an auditorium space for performances.

Of course, the project didn’t come without challenges that never fail to arise in the world of construction. From unforeseen conditions to lead time issues lingering from the pandemic, the project team needed to come together to efficiently solve problems and push the project forward.

“The first day of school isn’t really something that’s negotiable,” said senior project manager Nicole Blais. “I have to hand it to my entire team on this one, especially project manager Aaron Hoydich and superintendent Kurt Bonn. Without their do-whatever-it-takes mentality, the students and teachers may have shown up without a classroom to learn in. Instead, the renovations came out beautifully and the kids were able to enjoy their new building on the first day of school in August.”

Achievement First project team: 

Pariseault Builders - construction manager

Kaestle Boos Associates - architect

Ruggieri Brothers - flooring

Custom Drywall Inc. - drywall



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