Barnes Butte Elementary School
Mike Gorman, Lee Fenton, Greg McCracken, Tom Stark, Jim Landin, Mindy Lyman
As the first new elementary school built in Crook County in more than five decades, Barnes Butte was designed with a primary goal of ensuring that taxpayers’ investment in education was wisely spent for both the construction of the school and CAPACITY700COST PER SQ FT$212.00FEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio efficiency-minded operations.
The school’s modern design has resulted in a comprehensive, state-of-the-art learning environment that supports personalized instruction and community building among students and teachers.
The building is organized around seven highly flexible learning communities, grouped by grade level. Each level conveys a unique character, identified through use of color, signage and murals depicting local geographical locations. These pods also initiate storyline surroundings.
At the school entrance, a two-story hallway accommodates tackable walls and display cabinets for each grade. This area continues into an open and multifunctional community living room, the social hub of the school, which has direct access to the library, gymnasium, cafeteria, music room, and open stairs to the second-floor learning communities.
Highly durable materials of concrete block and metal panels, along with wood elements to soften spaces, are featured throughout. Use of glazing and skylights ensures immersed daylight, and operable windows provide ventilation.