Building Back Stronger
Irving Elementary stands as a shining reminder of the resilience of the Joplin community; a bright, colorful, and safe new space that rose with purpose in the aftermath of nearly unfathomable chaos. It is more than just a response to a tragedy; it sets the bar high for educational environments and will have a lasting impact on the entire community and the future of learning environments. The new Irving also provided a wonderful opportunity to enrich and elevate the community through 21st-century educational experiences.
Students are divided into three classroom “Learning Neighborhoods”, each housing two grade levels. Each neighborhood has central access to the core functions of the building, which includes a Multipurpose/Cafeteria, Library, Art and Music classrooms, and multiple Project Labs, as well as two FEMA Tornado Safe Rooms, one acting as the school gymnasium, for safeguarding the building occupants and the surrounding community.
Classrooms in each neighborhood surround an open Project Lab for group teaching and student-centered learning activities. Abundant transparency between classrooms and the labs create visual connectivity. Each neighborhood is themed and includes flexible furniture to create playful and colorful environments. Transparency and color are throughout the building. Daylighting and views to the outdoors also contribute to a student-centered learning environment.