Lorraine Finnegan


Senior Vice President | K-12 Market Leader | Project Manager


  • Responsible for leading all K-12 educational projects for both public and private school clients
  • Joined SMMA in 1998, advancing into leadership roles including project architect and project manager
  • Applies her knowledge of the Massachusetts School Building Authority approvals and funding process, as well as Rhode Island Department of Education standards and requirements, to assist clients in securing the highest financial participation possible for a school project
  • Skilled in managing a variety of project and building types, and expert in assessing strategy issues, such as whether to renovate or build new 
  • Facilitates implementation of the design process via close collaboration and communication with the SMMA architect/engineer team, while serving as the day-to-day contact for clients
  • Guides firm management and operations as a Principal and Board member 

Joy of Design

One of the rewarding aspects of her work on K-12 schools is the relationship with clients and the project team over the entire lifespan of the project. “It can be a five-year process to move from the initial proposal and interview phase to conceptual design and through construction,” she says. The best part, according to Lorraine: seeing the school come to life on the first day as students arrive.

“Unveiling the story of a new school project, and continually building the relationship, is a tremendously rewarding experience for me.” 

The CoLab at SMMA

Lorraine and her colleagues in the K-12 Studio created an informal meeting and collaboration space at SMMA called the “CoLaboratorium,” launching a series of education and inspiration gatherings there. Loosely titled “Conversations at the CoLab,” topics range from design solutions for improving school security to autism research and its relevance to classroom design.