Project Type: New
Construction Cost: $36.3M
Size: 98,900 SF
K-12 Public Schools
Penn Brook Elementary School
The new Penn Brook School project not only replaced the existing elementary school, but it also allowed for a much-needed grade redistribution for the Town of Georgetown. The final design is a result of 18 options that were considered during the feasibility study, and the new school welcomed in kindergarten, first, and sixth grade classes in addition to the original grades 2-5. This redistribution alleviated overcrowding in other schools, and better served the educational teaching methodology for the district.
The three-story elementary school is designed for 770 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Each grade has five classrooms organized in classroom ‘pods’ with breakout spaces in the hallways. Special learning spaces include art rooms, computer rooms, music and band. Interactive learning spaces outside, such as the student gardens, are served by rainwater collected from the cafeteria roof. The Cafetorium, Media Center, and Tree House are flooded with natural light and have benches and flexible seating for students to enjoy nature while they learn.
“The School in the Woods,” as the new Penn Brook School has been dubbed, allows spaces throughout the interior to have views to the surrounding site. The large library/media center is centrally located with views towards the surrounding trees. Classroom spaces have large windows that open up to the woodland views around the site and branch off of the centrally located, shared spaces such as the administration building, library and cafeteria.
Playful gabled roofs identify entries that are reminiscent of mountain lodges, but scaled and detailed to cater to the school community and younger audience. The kindergarten wing has storytelling areas that feature fun window concepts such as circles and stacked block shapes. This sustainable school project achieved LEED Silver certification, and was completed in 2015.
Suggested blog article: Designing Break Out Spaces for Schools.