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We are committed to the idea that architecture can create stronger communities.

As a firm, our focus is on delivering value: Architecture that inspires a sense of community at an affordable price. Learning environments (like students) must be able to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. We design flexible, easy-to-maintain, energy-efficient schools that stand the test of time. At the same time, we know that cities and towns across the Commonwealth are grappling with the financial realities of aging infrastructure and omnipresent demands on their limited funding, and we understand full well that our job is to deliver maximum ROI for the projects we undertake. 


Our clients often say we are one of the best kept secrets in the school design community. Below are some key reasons why Raymond Design Associates has a track record of successful projects and dozens of happy clients.

The design of a school plays an important role in supporting students as they begin their journey as life-long learners. Our learning environments provide for differentiated instruction, curriculum innovation, and changes in pedagogy. Together with our district and stakeholder partners , we facilitate smart decisions about how your building is configured, identify appropriate program adjacencies, and recommend furnishings, technologies, and building systems that facilitate inspired learning. We design modern classrooms, large and small group break out areas, one-on-one teaching spaces, and systems to enable remote learning. All the while keeping the needs of students, teachers, and administrators at the forefront.

Successful projects are those that find the right balance between requirements and aspirations. To achieve this, our approach includes continual communication  with stakeholders to understand a community’s specific educational goals and the role the school will play in the lives of families and other residents, creating a shared vision for the project. Transparent, frequent, and respectful communication enables stakeholders to feel “heard,” helping to build consensus and buy-in.

Delivering value is central to RDA’s design philosophy and a great point of pride for us. Our design solutions consider not only the up-front capital costs of a project but also future operational impacts and maintenance requirements.  We always design with a “50+-year building” mindset, focusing on durability, sustainability, and flexibility, with a continual focus on life cycle cost analysis. Please see our case studies for additional information about some of our achievements related to schedule and budget discipline.

The process of determining whether or not to invest in a new/renovated school can lead to a broader review of a community’s entire PreK-12 system. Are there advantages to consolidating? Does a grade reconfiguration make sense? We know these can be sensitive conversations. RDA has the expertise and wisdom to navigate this process with residents and families in a way that makes these conversations productive and supportive. 

RDA assists communities explore these issues from both programmatic and cost perspectives.  As one example, we were hired to design a large PreK-3 Elementary School. Our ‘global analysis’ mindset led us to voluntarily assess its other intermediate and middle schools. Ultimately, RDA helped the district make use of available space in two other schools in order to modify its district-wide grade configuration and substantially reduce the square footage of the project we had been hired to implement. This saved the town millions in design, construction, and future operational costs. In other communities, we use our expertise to facilitate the difficult decision to consolidate multiple schools based on our analysis of the educational benefits associated in doing so.

We believe learning happens everywhere, and that the site surrounding a school can and should serve students and residents in many ways. Outdoor spaces must be organized for independence, easy use, and learning. Paths, walkways, and stairs should be clearly marked and free of obstructions, and outdoor areas must provide for both active play and quiet activities, with the needs of all students kept top of mind. 

Our job, as we see it, is to engage with your community and earn their trust. That process begins at the start of the feasibility study and continues through the public vote, and, ultimately, the design of the project. One of the key tasks of the Feasibility phase is to objectively evaluate options in terms of their long-range viability and gauge the support each option has within the community. Critical to gaining approval is ongoing, clear communication. Our community meetings facilitate the process of gaining insight around expectations and priorities, serve as an update on the progress of the work, and support a feedback loop that builds positive momentum with taxpayers.


our values

We are a high-touch, multidisciplinary firm, and we’ve built our practice on strong design and planning work and even stronger client relationships. Our approach is collaborative, our expertise is deep. At RDA, we focus on delivering value. We design smart, handsome architecture that stands the test of time, while also being flexible, durable, and energy efficient.

leadership team

We believe in the “leader-doer” model of planning and design. Our clients have called us a “boutique” firm or a “well-kept secret” for the simple reason that we do not pursue a project unless we are convinced we can execute it to a high standard. We’ve made it a point to bring people into our firm who share that same commitment.


Gene S. Raymond, Jr.


As founder of RDA, Gene is principal-in-charge responsible for direct oversight of our academic projects. Since 1985 he has been involved in more than eighty PreK-12 school design projects.


Steven Watchorn


Steven Watchorn is an architect and senior project manager whose approach to educational design is methodical, hands-on, and collaborative, enabling him to meet project milestones and client goals.


George Berg


George brings more than 36 years of experience in the field of architecture, programming, planning, and design to our firm. Besides running operations, he is an adept project manager and presenter, facilitating advantageous solutions to challenging assignments on behalf of our clients.


Steven Lamothe


Steve has been designing educational projects for more than 20 years, and serves as RDA’s director of design.


Michael Bennett

Prior to Joining RDA, Michael was a Principal at Steffian Bradley Architects (SBA) where he was responsible for managing documentation and standards for many of the firm’s most complex projects across the globe, a depth of experience he now brings to RDA.


Angela Cavanaugh


Angela is a talented architect and RDA’s Sustainability Design Coordinator. She is a key contributor to the firm’s Prek-12 portfolio. Angela specializes in creating natural daylighting solutions and healthy interior environments for our Massachusetts public projects.


John Bartecchi

John is a top-performing and results-oriented construction management professional with over 40 years of experience and an exceptionally strong track record of successfully managing a vast range of complex construction projects.


Sabreena Kolchikambla


Sabreena Kolchikambla is a project manager and designer with 20 years of experience working on projects in the Education, Healthcare, and Commercial sectors. She has both local and international design expertise.


Mark Coughlin


Mark Coughlin leads the architectural design team in the synergistic coordination of architecture and engineering disciplines to ensure the highest quality standards. His responsibilities include project due-diligence, estimating, code analysis, writing specifications, and development of construction details for contract drawings.


Raymond Design Associates, Inc.
60 Ledgewood Place
Rockland, MA 02370



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