Transforming an underutilized, windowless basement gymnasium into a state-of-the-art elementary school library/media center was the architect’s primary challenge. The project presented a myriad of concerns to the school’s library staff, including: no natural light; poor lighting; poor ventilation; no air conditioning; moisture and humidity problems; relocation to the CAPACITY825COST PER SQ FT$146.00FEATURED IN1999 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers of a school built in the 1920s.
The architect took advantage of the two-story space by creating an open plan that brought vitality to the dreary school basement.
Installation of an underslab drainage system, humidity control, and a new HVAC system required the complete gutting of the original gymnasium.
Various uses of artificial light provide accent and interest to the library, and supplement the lack of natural light. Glass walls allow easy visual control of the entire library from the central control desk and visually connect the entire library. Bright colors and oak trim provide a warm, inviting and exciting environment for students.
This projects stands as proof that older school facilities can be revitalized through successful design and a strong commitment from the community.
Photographer: ©Al Tuefen