Addition & Remodeling at Kennedy Elementary School

When kids leave their grand opening tour asking if they can come back tomorrow, you know that a school design resonates. From top to bottom, the addition is student-focused, designed to support all types of learning.

The library acts as a “learning corridor”. The “learning corridor” is a mash-up of circulation and media center, welcoming students to linger with a book or technology. Space is not differentiated between circulation and the media center, instead they blend together and become a functional learning space. Cohorts and different zones throughout the school are identified by color. In the media center, and other shared spaces like the project space and the presentation space, all colors come together and suggest a sense of community.

Classrooms encourage active learning with easy to rearrange, flexible furniture. Students collaborate in small groups (breakout rooms), research in an introspective space (window seat), or engage as a large group. Color defines the cohorts and special areas within the school (ie 3rd grade spaces are teal; pre-k blue; reading rooms green). Transparent walls provide security and inspire wonder by putting learning on display. They function as writing surfaces in spaces like the breakout rooms, exciting students with their novelty.

Students and staff connect to the world of living things through natural light, views, and the selection of materials (ie ‘Grass’ Flotex flooring and wood-look ceilings). This is especially evident in the presentation space where an amphitheater becomes a “hill.”

The exterior of the building incorporates a variety of colors that represents what is going on behind the walls of the school. The blue areas indicate educational spaces like classrooms. The yellow color highlights active learning and public areas. The grey tones represent functional aspects of the building like mechanical or circulation spaces.
The “learning corridor” is a mash-up of circulation and media center, welcoming students to linger with a book or technology.
The library acts as a “learning corridor”. Space is not differentiated between circulation and the media center, instead they blend together and become a functional learning space.
Cohorts and different zones throughout the school are identified by color. In the media center, and other shared spaces like the project space and the presentation space, all colors come together and suggest a sense of community.
The classroom environment is designed to meet all types of learners and to support individual learning modalities. Classrooms are designed with flexible furniture that is easily rearranged and encourages active learning. Between each pair of classrooms is a breakout room to encourage both collaborative and individual study. The glass walls also function as writing surfaces.
By maximizing transparency into the corridor, natural light filters into interior spaces in addition to putting learning on display. The reading rooms support small group engagement and have built-in bench seating that provide alternative areas for learning inside and directly outside of the space.
A new art room on the first floor features a motorized garage door that can improve the flow to and from the new media center. The flooring of the art room becomes a teaching tool as squares (for student seating) follow the color spectrum and where secondary colors are formed when primary colors converge.
The centrally located Project Space provides ample room for group projects and activities. There is plenty of storage for the supplies STEM projects often require. A variety of colors were introduced throughout the space. In addition, ductwork is painted to put on display the mechanical functions of the building. It acts as a teaching tool for staff to talk about the infrastructure and introduce students to systems thinking.
In the project space the walls, cabinets, and even the tables are writable surfaces to encourage students to demonstrate their learning. The flexible furniture in the Project space is easy to move, allowing students to quickly reconfigure as needed.
In the project space the walls, cabinets, and even the tables are writable surfaces to encourage students to demonstrate their learning. The flexible furniture in the Project space is easy to move, allowing students to quickly reconfigure as needed.
In the project space the walls, cabinets, and even the tables are writable surfaces to encourage students to demonstrate their learning. The flexible furniture in the Project space is easy to move, allowing students to quickly reconfigure as needed.
Nicknamed “The Hill,” the amphitheater is one of many forums in the space for student presentations. The Hill facilitates peer-to-peer learning as students demonstrate knowledge and skills. It also provides teachers with more opportunities to assess student’s level of understanding. Nature is not only introduced by the large windows but is also highlighted by grass like representation of the flooring.

Work at Kennedy Elementary is being completed over multiple phases. All of the projects include:

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