Prairie Trail Elementary School

Ankeny, Iowa

  • FIRM



    Ankeny Community School District

  • AREA

    90,200 sq.ft.





This new four-section elementary school, by design, breaks away from those previously built by the fast-growing Ankeny Community School District. Through an intense planning and brainstorming process, designers and the district's planning team forged new ground and created a building that embodied the district's enrichment curriculum model.

Classrooms are ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY720COST PER SQ FT$149.82FEATURED IN2013 Architectural Portfolio around a shared collaborative learning space, which is an area designed to act in multiple capacities. The learning space functions as pullout space needed for the curriculum enrichment, but also as a group collaboration area, individual learning center or additional classroom space when needed. Key to the success of the design is flexibility and visibility for students and staff.

The school, built for more than 720 students, uses cluster groupings of classrooms in order to manage the relative size of the student body and make the building seem smaller to attendees.

The building uses several sustainable design strategies, including high- performing systems, advanced lighting controls and daylighting, which saves the district more than 60 percent in energy costs over previous buildings built to code-level requirements.