The new Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School is the product of a prototype design developed so that the district could build three elementary schools simultaneously. Those schools will replace nine outdated neighborhood elementary schools. Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary is designed to support two specific grade-grouping structures, K-2 and 3-5, in a “school COST PER SQ FT$215.52FEATURED IN2015 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress a school” format.
The design places functions shared by both programs—the media center, dining room, gymnasium, administrative offices, and art and music instruction—at the center of the building; other academic spaces flank the shared core. Learning studios, small-group instruction areas and large-group instruction areas provide spaces for individual, small-, medium- and large-group learning. Spaces traditionally used as vertical transition areas function as additional dynamic, large-group instruction spaces in the form of “learning stairs.”
The project incorporates sustainable measures such as a ground-source heat pump system, recycled/renewable materials, rain gardens, a high-efficiency building envelope, and dimmable/daylight-controlled lighting systems. The district also is reducing its energy usage by consolidating three inefficient buildings into one highly efficient facility.