The 60,500-square-foot Mount Nittany Elementary School houses 400 K-5 students and can accommodate future expansion to 500 students. Learning space design focuses on a centrally situated learning resources center surrounded by large-group instruction areas branching into classroom learning areas.
The classroom cluster structure CAPACITY400COST PER SQ FT$189.43FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio several levels of social and academic interaction, providing individual and group learning, as well as typical classroom settings. One-story at the entrance, the school expands to two stories linked by centrally situated ramps. The multi-story design follows the topography and minimized the site work required.
To function as a teaching tool, the design incorporates:
•A building dashboard showing facility energy usage.
•Rain and butterfly gardens.
•A compass built into the floor surfacing.
•Exposed structural and color-coded building systems.
•Heights marked in the bricks to illustrate measurement and scale.
•A gnomon at the entry functions as a sundial.
Sustainable features include:
•Ground-source heat pump.
•Greywater, solar hot-water heater and reflective roof systems.
•Roof monitors for bilateral daylighting within classrooms.
•Rain gardens aiding with stormwater control.
•High-value wall insulation systems.
•Exterior light shades and shelves.
•Reused, renewable and recycled materials.