Crossroads Elementary School

Saint Paul, Minnesota

This design responds to district curriculum initiatives focused on the unique urban learner. The school combines pre-K to 6 Montessori and K-6 science programs. The facility also includes spaces for Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) and Discovery Club—three programs the district wanted to place together for integration and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$99.00CITATIONElementary School CitationFEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio of a new delivery method.

A design challenge was creating an environment where the two curriculum programs could overlap yet remain separate as needed. Individual classroom clusters focus on a central inquiry zone, which functions as a hands-on project learning area and display space—similar to a children’s museum.

It was important that kindergartners feel connected to the rest of the school. By including the kindergarten wing on the minor spine, the younger children have opportunities to interact with older students.

The school is designed to be safe and inviting. Traditional use of brick was balanced with playful materials, vibrant color and glass construction. Natural light is abundant in the school. Community access after hours highlights the school’s strong community orientation.

"Exciting program, excellent composition...pays particular attention to the varied needs of the learner."—Architectural Portfolio 2000 jury

Photographer: ©George Heinrich