Emmons Lake Elementary School

Caledonia, Michigan

The school is divided into three wings called communities, each self-sufficient. A curved corridor connects the communities. Each community is composed of two neighborhoods, promoted with its own entry, but interconnected for shared activities. Each neighborhood has three families, or classrooms. An important element of each neighborhood is its Extended Learning Center, ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$102.00FEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio promotes the interaction of the three families. The media center, gymnasium and cafeteria are centrally located so children need not travel through other communities. All of these design features reduce the perceived scale of the building to provide a more comfortable environment for young students and allow instructor control.

The school was designed on the site’s natural high spot to enhance the building’s exposure as a prototype, allow classroom connection to the outdoor playgrounds and wetlands learning lab, and frame the wooded wetlands views from the classrooms.

The building has a brick veneer that was chosen to complement the nearby middle school. A bold and unique color scheme for each community promotes student identification and recognition, A central air-handling system includes air conditioning and utilizes energy-recovery units. Fiber optics link all buildings in the district.

Photographer: ©Bill Lindhout Photography