Warsaw Community Schools, Prototype Elem. School: Leesburg Elem. and Madison Elem.

Leesburg and Warsaw, Indiana

Suffering from a lack of educational space, Warsaw Community Schools is embarking on a master plan to reshape its outdated and outmoded facilities. The two new elementary schools in the first phase use a creative prototype plan to provide equity in educational space, programming and opportunity to students of the various communities. The innovative plan was developed in ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMF&G Engineers; Slesser Engineering; Bob Isgrigg & AssociatesCAPACITY700COST PER SQ FT$151.64FEATURED IN2008 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress partnership with teachers, administrators, staff, students and community members who will use it everyday.

The building is designed to rethink the paradigm of traditional school layouts and address the challenge of today’s programmatic needs. The four-section school is parted into halves for better teaming opportunities; primary (kindergarten/pre-K to 2) on one side and intermediate (grades 3 to 6) on the other. Each half is split further into wings, dedicated to grade levels working closely with one another. The wings on each side are joined by special-services classrooms serving the primary and intermediate needs respectively. This addresses the realistic challenges of “pullout” programs, and the need for localized teaming and cooperation of staff and students. The plan also incorporates security measures of localized partitioning and restricted access to the building, while allowing for enhanced visual monitoring and control of interior and exterior spaces.

The use of timeless local materials of brick and stone provides a low-maintenance facility and creates a sense of permanence and stability in the community of which they are a part. Materials also were selected to provide an elegant, yet affordable solution to a large facility. The building’s massing and aesthetics provide a balance of function, form, scale, purpose, hierarchy and arrival. Other ideas such as white roofs, sustainable and durable materials, and use of site amenities and wetlands add to the sensibility of the projects.