The new Cortland Elementary School is designed as a four-section school, with two-story learning centers surrounding a centrally situated open media center. Collaborative teaching and learning strategies were behind the development of the learning centers. Each learning center is composed of a breakout area surrounded by classrooms, small-group rooms and CAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$172.42FEATURED IN2010 Architectural Portfolio rooms.
The learning centers provide an active learning environment where students spend much of their day. They help to alleviate traffic in the hallways, resulting in a quiet environment for the media center. The building can be zoned easily, allowing for community use. The bus and car entries are placed for easy observation by the principal, and take advantage of one main common entry area. The gym and cafeteria are situated for easy access to students during the school day and for community use after school hours.
Reflecting the agriculture and history of this community, the building was designed to be utilized as a teaching tool. Many sustainable design elements are incorporated throughout, and their story is told through the use of signage.