Cortland Elementary School

Cortland, Illinois

Once upon a time… the staff and students of the historic Cortland Elementary School got together to design a new school. They wanted the school to tell a story: for people to enter the school and get a feel for the agricultural area and the history of this community. They wanted the building to be utilized as a ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMClark Engineering CorporationCOST PER SQ FT$172.42FEATURED IN2010 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas tool.

This begins at the front entry with a school mission statement that lets the community know clearly what is important here. A unique logo is inlaid into the floor, teaching students about the importance of agriculture. Beyond that, an accent wall provides a canvas for a student or community art project to teach students about this region.

The history of the area is an important part of the curriculum. Panels were provided in the community-use areas for historical Cortland photos. Panels outside of each classroom pod were provided for curriculum storyboards to be created.

Many sustainable design elements are used throughout the building, and their story is told using signage so students understand how the building works, how it will affect the community and how it will save energy.