New Elementary School, Grades 2-6
The new Lake Elementary School is perched on top of a hill in Hartville, Ohio with spectacular views of the wooded park and residential neighborhood that surround it. The exterior design of the K-12 building was intended to pay homage to the roof lines of the adjacent homes and apartment buildings. Playful blue metal forms highlight focal points of the school building and hint at the innovative spaces that await inside.
Lake Elementary is an example of the continued dissolving of learning boundaries: learning happens in all spaces, and in a continuum of formally defined and informally suggested spaces. The intentional programming and design of spaces to anticipate and accommodate future changes in teaching and learning is a vital part of contemporary learning design.
Learning By Design Awards, Jury Comments
The primary goal of this school building was to create a student-centered learning environment that would inherently reinforce the educational paradigm of the District. Different types of flexible classrooms were developed to cater to the different teaching and learning styles that were intended to occur within these interior spaces. Some are open spaces meant for interaction and collaboration. Some are closed learning spaces that cater to lecture and individual learning activities. Movable walls can be found in the majority of rooms which allow classrooms the flexibility to connect and transform into larger spaces. Classrooms are also grouped around shared spaces filled with flexible furniture. Glass garage doors provide the ability to use these learning spaces as an extension of the classroom or interconnection between multiple classrooms.
In addition to the K-12 educational goals, we set a goal from the very beginning of the project to design spaces that felt more like home and that incorporated natural materials and connections with nature. Every school corridor features glass and views to the exterior. Learning spaces all provide views to the outdoors. Metal lockers are wrapped with woodwork, wood beams were used in lieu of steel in the cafeteria, wood slats help to define flexible learning spaces, interior paint and flooring materials are centered on a color palette that can be found in nature, and outdoor learning areas surround the building.
Three years into our partnership with SoL Harris/Day, the Lake Local Schools has no doubt they selected the right architect firm to champion our project. There is little doubt upon completion of our project, our facilities will become a showcase for other districts to emulate.
Kevin Tobin, Superintendent, Lake Local Schools
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