Lebanon Maplecrest Safe Room
Lebanon’s 2nd/3rd-grade school building had approximately 57% of the square footage required for their student population. In addition, the traditional classrooms lining the double-loaded corridors provided few opportunities for collaborative learning pedagogies.
The current renovations and additions are the first step in a multi-phase solution to utilize the existing structure but provide the necessary modern-day spaces (and a new identity) for the students and teachers. Additions will include a 10,000 square foot ICC-500 rated Safe Room that doubles as a full-court gymnasium and performance space, complete with stage, protected stage lighting and A/V, drama storage, office, and telescopic bleachers.
In this first phase, the gym/Safe Room is joined to the existing school by a connector that will perform as a drop off / entry until the remaining phases connect back to the rest of the school. Under the philosophy that the sum is greater than its parts, the connector serves more than circulation. It provides two additional collaboration stations in spaces that would otherwise act as corridors. Attention to the walls and minimal alcoves provide opportunities for co-teaching, peer tutoring, and small group activities.
The addition of the gym allowed the existing cafeteria to take over the existing undersized multipurpose space and undergo a complete transformation into a multi-media center, continuing education space and expanded Commons. Within the newly renovated walls of the cafeteria, hubs of spontaneous small group learning are docked around the perimeter. Both sides of the space can function as two separate educational spaces for seminars. Both spaces can be combined for district-wide staff development days. Within the Commons, the focal wall acts as a Collaboration Station that includes A/V, bookshelves, display cases, and marker boards. Large windows open to the once closed-off corridors of the past to create visual connectivity through the Commons.