Don R. Roberts Elementary School

Little Rock, Arkansas

An enhanced learning environment and increased energy efficiency were the Little Rock School District’s main goals for the 158,380-square-foot Roberts Elementary School.

It serves 865 students from pre-K through fifth grade. The two-story school is broken into pods, creating smaller communities of learning. These communities are ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY865COST PER SQ FT$161.00FEATURED IN2009 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress on an extended learning center or "commons" to be used for student activities, presentations and projects. The academic zones surround the media center, which serves as the hub of the instructional design. Two art classrooms, two music classrooms, a piano keyboarding lab, a reading mezzanine, science labs and dedicated physical-education space add more learning possibilities.

Sustainable-design strategies, such as large areas of glass in each classroom and clerestory windows into interior spaces, resulted in the maximum usage of daylight in the school’s major program areas. Solar heat gain is mitigated through the orientation of the windows and sunshade devices.

Recycled and local materials were given preference, and light controls reduce electrical consumption. Roberts Elementary’s design furthers the district’s initiative to provide students with intimate learning opportunities in a user-friendly atmosphere.