Parker-Bennett-Curry is the first new elementary school in the Bowling Green school district in 40 years. It replaces two existing elementary schools with a new, single-story facility designed for preschool to fifth grade. It boasts the largest classrooms of any elementary school in the district.
This school divides the primary and intermediate levels into CAPACITY450COST PER SQ FT$128.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio wings, each of which is designed specifically for its respective age group. The classrooms in the primary wing are centered on a communal space, which includes retractable risers to seat two full classrooms for group teaching. The intermediate wing incorporates larger hallways and lockers instead of the classroom cubbies found in the primary wing. Specialized classrooms are situated between and shared by both wings. The preschool area is separated from both the primary and intermediate areas, and features its own office spaces and enclosed playground.
More than 80 percent of the student population in this school speaks English as their second language, and at least 12 nationalities are strongly represented within the student population. The designers incorporated this diversity into the facility with international flags on the building’s exterior and media center clocks that show international times.
The school also is designed to reach out to the community. The building’s exterior is designed in masses and volumes that complement rather than overtake the small scale of homes in the surrounding neighborhood. Sightlines are maintained through the structure to preserve the visibility of area homes and buildings.
Outdoor play areas double as community gathering places, and the building includes a classroom specifically dedicated to adult education. In addition, the gym and cafeteria can be secured separately from the rest of the school for public use after hours. This inclusiveness of the community contributes significantly to its tremendous success in the district.