The three-story addition to Cherry Hill Elementary School, dubbed New Bridge Center, accommodates the district’s increased enrollment and desire for an expanded learning day. It houses kindergarten classrooms, educational space for a new program for autistic students, and dedicated classrooms for visual and performing arts. The addition, which uses traditional, warm COST PER SQ FT$285.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio tones, connects to the existing school via a glass-enclosed breezeway.
Design features include terrazzo flooring in the lobby where new administrative offices are centralized for an easily supervised and secure environment. Geometric tile patterns in bold primary colors add playfulness and creativity to the school’s corridors.
Renovations to the existing school include a newly expanded media center playing up the same radiant color palette. A custom circulation desk, small-scale lounge seating and a storytelling area, backed by an expanse of glass allowing natural light to spill into the space, complete the room.
The centerpiece of the project is the Discovery Classroom, designed and constructed to be self-sufficient through solar (photovoltaic) energy. Although the classroom is still “connected” to the school, the solar energy harnessed is distributed back into the grid, resulting in a carbon-neutral educational space.
This classroom not only meets today’s sustainability goals, but also raises awareness of global-warming issues for students by integrating the photovoltaic system into the classroom to enhance the district’s curriculum.
Additionally, the eco-conscious classroom features green finishes, including paint with low-VOC content, and carpet and ceiling tiles manufactured from recycled materials.