Ray and Nancy Hodge Elementary School was created with the support of the surrounding Imperial, Mo., community in the spirit of an old-fashioned barn raising. This unique elementary school rests on the eastern shoulder of the Ozark Highlands. It is nestled into a western hillside, opposite Mastodon State Historic Park. The school’s context is rich in history. Remains of CAPACITY550COST PER SQ FT$116.89FEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio man and a treasure of pachyderm fossils were discovered nearly two centuries ago just over the ridge. Also, a log cabin built in the early 1800s was discovered on the school’s site. This cabin is being restored for districtwide student experiential learning.
The design of this school echoes its unique, historical context. The form of the building reflects the agricultural architecture of both early settlers and existing farms in the valley below. Materials, textures and colors were selected to blend with the wooded hillside and limestone outcroppings.
A fast-track construction project, this school was programmed, designed and documented in only 75 days. It took just nine months from foundation to occupation.