Combs Elementary School is honored for its commitment to educational excellence. When curriculum demands and student population growth strained existing school buildings, an addition and comprehensive renovations were planned. The media center needed replacement to comply with program standards, the cafeteria had grown too small, and bus and car traffic were forced to COST PER SQ FT$126.19FEATURED IN2003 Architectural Portfolio during arrival and dismissal. The campus buildings had no enclosed connectors for circulation, and the school lacked a clearly defined main entrance.
The addition links the existing buildings to provide a unified campus environment with continued visual and physical access to the exterior. A new media center anchors the addition, with a commons to accommodate the groups of students moving between the cafeteria and multipurpose building. A new administrative suite is adjacent to a clearly defined main entrance. The cafeteria was enlarged, and the former media center converted to art and music classrooms with separate courtyards.
The design of the addition builds upon the unique character of the school. Large windows permit natural light to flow throughout school spaces, while brightly colored floor-tile patterns assist students and visitors in wayfinding.