The new Vero Beach Elementary School was constructed adjacent to the existing school while it remained in operation. This site constraint, along with a varied population of students, including children with unstable living situations, drove many of the design decisions. Security is always important in a facility housing small children; providing these children with a ASSOCIATED FIRMCMCrawford Architect, Inc.CAPACITY750COST PER SQ FT$155.25FEATURED IN2013 Architectural Portfolio feeling and leaving the outside world behind upon entering became an overwhelming theme.
Buildings encircle an exterior courtyard yielding multiple learning opportunities and placing the children at the “center” of their world. Interiors feature playful ceilings such as those found in the media center, and form liners used on cast exterior walls add texture and scale.
Community spaces, with appropriate access control, are situated at the perimeter. This enables after-hours use without affecting the remainder of the facility. All classroom areas include short-throw projectors, document cameras, audio-enhancement capabilities and lighting control.
Sustainable features include floor tiles, low-VOC paints, and the reuse of the demolished materials from the original school. Green “collection” areas encourage student involvement; rainwater storage for student gardens and an ice-storage system for energy savings also are featured.