To achieve the district’s desire for each of the eight schools to have equity but reflect the communities they serve, SHP met with administration, teachers and staff to develop a prototype design for each 90,500 sf, 670-student building. The eight new elementary schools were part of a $233M, phased, district-wide building program that reinvented the learning environment for every student at every grade level.
Key features include:
- 21st century learning environment include extended learning areas (ELA) for every classroom pod. The ELA space creates flexible, breakout space for group learning or individualized study and boasts mobile furniture and its own unique color palette.
- Designed with a “kit-of-parts” prototype philosophy, each building has a similar floor plan but looks uniquely different on both the inside and outside.
- To help achieve the individuality, SHP created a theme for each new building. Based on larger concepts such as seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter) or elements (fire, water, earth, wind), the schools have different color schemes and their own logo.
- The schools were also designed to support community use. By locating the gymnasium next to the cafetorium (auditorium and cafeteria combination) the space can be combined to form a large areas for all-school presentations or community events.
- Safety and security were also very important in the design of schools. During school hours, upon entering each building, visitors are directed into the administration area while the main doors to the academic areas are locked.