Sunrise River Elementary School

North Branch, Minnesota

The program requirements were to create small, personalized learning communities within a large facility and to create a vital community resource.

A pinwheel design of three mixed-grade houses is situated around a media center. Mixed-grade houses provide flexibility for future changes in enrollment. Classrooms cluster around shared group-learning areas. ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$185.74FEATURED IN2008 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas is integrated with document cameras, audio enhancement, LCD projectors, computer work stations, portable laptop labs and smart boards.

To accommodate future changes in district grade configurations, the classroom house design can be adapted easily for kindergarten use.

An entrance colonnade provides access to public areas while keeping school functions separate.

Durable, low-maintenance terrazzo and burnished block were used throughout. Blue terrazzo borders the circulation areas, representing a “river” theme and the school’s namesake. Classroom communities are distinguished by different color schemes, and soffits with signage label different spaces clearly.

To minimize energy consumption, automated lighting, occupancy sensors, variable-air-volume systems and daylight were incorporated throughout.

Sustainable qualities, timeless design and efficiency make Sunrise River Elementary School a source of community pride.