Berkley Street Elementary School

New Mildord, New Jersey

The media center for the Berkley Street Elementary School represents one facet of a 31,000-square-foot expansion project. The design provides classroom space for a relocated fifth grade and upgrades supplemental spaces, including the gymnasium.

The gymnasium and media center were considered undersized for the student population. The existing ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$129.65FEATURED IN2003 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers was converted to a media center.

From the start of planning, it was essential that the new media center be a whimsical and motivational learning space. The computer room and media center were designed as integral spaces. The librarian’s office was fashioned after a gazebo, with support spaces behind. An open gazebo was constructed at the opposite end of the space as a student reading nook. A free-floating ceiling was constructed below the upper building structure, with sidewalls painted dark blue in an effort to visually expand the space. Carpet patterns mimic shapes seen in room structures. A large window wall in the original gymnasium provides courtyard views from the story nook gazebo. Access to an adjacent computer room is provided. From the exterior of the building, the media center renovations are undetectable.