Nicoma Park Elementary School is where the youngest children from the surrounding area begin their education. It was built in response to rapid growth in the suburban Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District near Oklahoma City.
The 63,300-square-foot pre-K to 2 building is sited adjacent to an existing upper elementary for grades 3 to 5 and a middle school for CAPACITY450COST PER SQ FT$182.00FEATURED IN2013 Architectural Portfolio 6 to 8, creating a neighborhood campus for the Nicoma Park area. All students in the district are transported by bus, so this site centralizes transportation and simplifies scheduling for the area.
The building design combines grand, daylighted public spaces with intimate, child-scaled teaching spaces. Teaching spaces are grouped in neighborhoods delineated by grade. The neighborhoods connect along the datum of a grand central “street” that also anchors the offices, media center, cafeteria and gymatorium. The classrooms are scaled to make the small students comfortable while accommodating their special dynamic needs.
Each neighborhood provides a central “park” or common space for team-teaching or group activities, special classrooms to integrate children of different needs, a teachers’ workroom and restrooms. Because Oklahoma is the tornado capital of the world, a saferoom/shelter also is incorporated in each neighborhood.