The first of two new elementary schools commissioned by a public, county-wide school district, the project makes a bold first step in the planned transformation of the district’s facilities and curriculum. As the first 21st Century School in the state’s largest school district, the design provides opportunity for collaborative, project-based learning, with an infusion of technology for a K-5 student population of up to 1,200 students. Built on the site of an existing elementary school, the new 151,227 SF facility replaces two aging school buildings in disrepair.
The combination of faculty, resources, students, and their families offers a new beginning for a new school community. This community is to be nurtured through a design that encourages cross-pollination of students and faculty through visual connectivity; campus-wide technology access; and an abundance of collaborative spaces. Generous corridor walls undulate the length of each ‘street’, identifying classroom spaces while creating impromptu gathering and teaching areas. The interplay and variety of colors further identify these spaces and provide a playful, encouraging learning atmosphere. Skylights, curtain walls, and expansive windows provide abundant access to daylight and offer views of the $29 million campus. As an extension of the learning environment, the main courtyard and amphitheater provide learning gardens, shaded exterior classrooms, and a human sundial while providing a means of visual connection.
Inside and out, the design plays an integral part in the learning curriculum, complimenting instead of containing the learning experience. In place of narrow, dark halls, with low ceilings - expansive, colorful, and daylit streets are to be filled with ideas, lessons, and collaboration. In place of limited views from the classroom to the exterior - extensive glazing provides views into and out of each class, nurturing connection within the walls and access to the world outside. In place of a few aging and hardwired desktops in an isolated computer room – laptops, tablets, and ubiquitous wireless networks infuse the learning environment with access to learning technology.
CLICK BELOW TO SEE PROJECT PHOTOS!