Lancaster Central Elementary School

Bluffton, Indiana

  • FIRM

    Moake Park Group, Inc.


    Northern Wells Community Schools

  • AREA

    132,014 sq.ft.





The design of this school was based on four primary program requirements:

•To break a large elementary down into smaller sections (communities), to provide students a feeling of ease and to nurture a closer student/teacher bond.

•To develop multiple levels of security within the building for daytime, after-school and weekend functions.

•To develop a structure ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY800COST PER SQ FT$88.08FEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio would be extremely efficient to construct and maintain.

•To create a school with a differentiating feature or element to identify the school.

The school is divided into four distinct pods. Pods one through three are quiet classroom communities, and pod four is the noisy cafetorium/gymnasium area. The classroom pods also contain flexible, unassigned space so that curriculum advisers can tailor their program on a year-to-year basis. This separation helps to control sound and allows pod four to be open after school and on weekends.

The pod concept also allows for efficient construction. Each pod is identical except for interior finishes. The number of pods allowed for convenient staging by centralizing the plumbing and mechanical systems.

The feature that gets the most attention is the internal courtyard classroom. The school is organized around a central outdoor space that has multiple learning spaces. The courtyard contains a state map in the stone flooring, a fountain, plantings and separations for the various learning zones.