The new Colonel Smith Middle School offers a STEM curriculum organized around the building's net-zero strategies. It is anticipated to be the first net-zero K-12 school in Arizona.
The design uses open learning environments, mobile furniture and handheld devices to support project-based learning and encourage use of the entire facility. The center of the ASSOCIATED FIRMFanning HoweyCOST PER SQ FT$245.50CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN2013 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers is the Research Commons, a non-traditional library in which everything moves—even the books—thanks to mobile shelving. The technology-rich space includes information hot spots and wired laptop access, as well as wireless capabilities for tablets.
Just outside the Research Commons is a popular energy dashboard that enables students to track the school’s energy use and renewable-energy systems through a dynamic touchscreen, or through an app on their mobile devices.
The Research Commons, like all regularly occupied spaces in Colonel Smith, includes a combination of daylighting through skylights, windows and clerestory windows. As a result, the school is projected to reduce energy use related to electrical lighting by up to 80 percent.
“Lots of opportunities for student collaboration and engagement. It’s a place where we would want to learn.”--2013 jury