Beaver Run Elementary School is located in Salisbury, MD and is a replacement school for an existing building constructed in 1957. The existing school, comprised of 7 separate buildings connected by covered breezeways, was centered on the 16+ acre building site. This presented a challenge of where to locate the new school building. With limited building location options, the new school was constructed on the back of the site, behind the existing building, which allowed the existing school to remain operational during construction.
The community of Beaver Run was vocal in their desire that the new school building should fit in with the context of the surrounding area. On over 377 acres, the school’s neighboring property is WinterPlace Park & Equestrian Center, which is Wicomico County’s largest recreational area. The equestrian aesthetic of the community buildings in the park greatly impacted the design of the new Beaver Run Elementary School.
Serving grades Pre-K through 2, the interior layout of the building allows for separation of classrooms from shared spaces. A Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom cluster surrounds one courtyard and a Grades 1 and 2 classroom cluster surrounds another courtyard. The two classroom clusters are linked together by special education, resource and intervention rooms. A main corridor extends the length of the building in the east-west direction with classrooms to the south and shared spaces to the north. Administration and community-use spaces (the media center, cafeteria and gymnasium), located north of the main corridor, are able to be locked-off from the classroom clusters for after-hours community use.
Separation of vehicular traffic was a driving factor in the design of site circulation as many students are dropped off by their parents. There are separate site entries for student drop-off, staff & visitor parking and bus loop. The site also has separate play areas for Pre-K & Kindergarten, Grades 1 & 2 and physical education.