In April, students from Kimberly Elementary School (Kimberly, ID), were treated to tours of the cross-town, under-construction Stricker Elementary, slated to open for students and staff for the fall 2018 semester. At the time of the tours, construction was roughly 75% complete.
CTA project manager Scott Roberts and project architect Amy Lindgren were on-hand as several busloads of first graders were dropped off to explore the school many of them will attend this fall. Facilities on the tour route included a classroom wing, the library, and the Commons area.
Two primary factors — security and a common space — drove design, Lindgren noted.
School security is a current hot-button issue in the United States and identified as important to users of the new school, so Stricker Elementary takes advantage of the latest in security design and technology. A single-point entry vestibule — with a secondary entry vestibule for buses, locked down after buses depart — funnels all school entrants through double-doors located adjacent to the administrative offices, from which staff can keep eyes on all points of the school.
The hallway layout was designed for teachers and administrators to see down one wing directly from the offices, and move only a short distance to see down the other two classroom wings. The school’s security system can also be activated via a mobile app, effectively locking down the school at a moment’s notice, restricting access to the classroom wings, and providing vital time for a secure process of evacuating children, should an issue arise.
The Commons, a dynamic, multi-functional space, lies adjacent to the gym. Together, they create the heart of the school, something Lindgren notes was exciting for Kimberly School District’s superintendent. Mere steps from the administrative offices, it’s easy to be right in the middle of everything, he indicated as a high point. Large overhead garage doors in the interior gym walls can be opened to create a larger space for all-school assemblies, or after-hours community events.