This project is a replacement facility for two 50+ year-old facilities – MacArthur Elementary School and Peck Elementary School.  The new school, located on the original site of Peck Elementary School, is state-of-the-art which enables current state-mandated student/teacher ratios, and sustainable/community-friendly design sensitivity.  The design organizes classroom units away from the busy thoroughfare of Martin Luther King Boulevard, and a metro light-rail line. Public functions, such as cafeteria, gymnasium and multi-purpose room act as a buffer in the spatial organization. Inflecting to the corner of the site, the main entrance is located around a circular court serving as transition between interior and exterior spaces. The library is symbolically located at the heart of the complex, on diagonal axis with the entrance court. Materials and colors are reminiscent of the two schools it replaces.  Since many of the students walk to school, the sense of “neighborhood” was critical to maintain, while the practical aspects of children’s safety and reduced operating costs were critical directives throughout the design process.  The school is equipped with state-of-the-art mechanical systems offering digital controls that allow remote operation and monitoring.  The school was occupied on-time and in-budget.  Taft Architects is the architect of record and lead designer, while our firm, as the LEED Project Administrator, directed the achievement of certification through the LEED for Schools (Version 2.0) rating system.

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