Seth Whitman Elementary School

Belvidere, Illinois

This rural-based community is experiencing rapid growth and needed a long-term solution for its elementary education needs. Requirements included addressing the needs of young learners, designing a high-performance facility and incorporating the community in facility use.

Intimacy of the school’s spaces addresses the needs of the small learner. Six grade-level houses ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY800COST PER SQ FT$115.05CITATIONElementary School CitationFEATURED IN2007 Educational Interiors2007 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYClassrooms the building’s scale. Educational spaces include an art room, a music room, flexible team-learning areas, a two-station gymnasium and a cafeteria with a student performance area. The layout is compact and efficient, and provides natural light throughout.

Two separate playgrounds, two soccer-sized play fields and a softball field were designed for student and community use.

The building is constructed of durable, easily maintained and energy-efficient materials. An entry security feature guides visitors through the administration office.

The new elementary school is on a site that includes an existing middle school and a new high school. This arrangement makes efficient use of play areas, drainage, parking areas and transportation loops.

“Innovative plan. Good use of hallway breakout areas.”--2007 AP jury