January 8, 2018
WBJ 2018 Best of Business

Best of Business: Lamoureux Pagano tackles complex projects close to home

Lamoureux principals (from left) Rick Lamoureux, Jr., Rob Para, Jr., Katie Crockett and Eric Moore

Certain architecture firms specialize in a project type so specialized – like a casino or power plants – their work can take them all over the country.

Lamoureux Pagano has decided instead it would build the best projects it could in and around its longtime home city of Worcester.

The firm has done work ranging from historical preservation at the Hanover Theatre and Mechanics Hall to the Worcester Technical High School and the College of the Holy Cross' Contemplative Center in West Boylston, which looks like a contemporary ski lodge.

"We've chosen to stay in our home base as much as we can," said Katie Crockett, who took over as the firm's president at the start of January, replacing the retiring Mike Pagano.

A focus on earth-conscious projects isn't new to Lamoureux Pagano. The firm opened in 1970, just before the oil crisis caused a shortage in gasoline and spurred people to think of the environment like they hadn't before.

"That's embedded in our approach to design, where appropriate, ever since," Crockett said.

Being green in design today more often means using local or recycled materials, planting drought-resistant plants and installing low-flow fixtures. For Nelson Place Elementary School, Lamoureux Pagano added extra insulation on walls and windows and covered the roof in solar panels.

The school was designed to create as much energy as it uses, which would be Lamoureux Pagano's first energy-neutral project.

Last year, Lamoureux Pagano finished a 32,000-square-foot addition to Shrewsbury Public Library, with a design balancing operational and aesthetic needs. As with just about any other public project, funding was tight. Still, the firm came in at $2 million under the project's $23-million budget.

"We needed to provide ample space and functionality with a beautiful building that would be accepted and admired by the community," said Ellen Dolan, the library director. "We hear comments about what an amazing transition it is from old to new."

A modern wing sits directly behind the original 1903 building, with similar yellow-brick exteriors but a newer look that doesn't try copying the original.

"I was concerned about functionality," Dolan said, "and they accomplished more than I could imagine."

One of the largest projects Lamoureux Pagano has undertaken is coming up next. The firm is designing a new $215-million, 360,000-square-foot South High Community School in Worcester, with construction slated to start later this year.

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