At Hord Coplan Macht, our approach to the design of PK-12 educational facilities is to focus on the end-user of the space – the learner. We start every project with deliberate and meaningful engagement with educators, students and the community to understand the individual needs of each user group. This valuable information is then utilized in conjunction with our educational planning and design expertise to create the best possible solution for each community.
Because we focus on the learner throughout the design process, our designs are inviting and engaging, full of flexible learning environments that provide all students with spaces that fit their diverse learning styles. These learning environments are safe, adaptable spaces that provide a welcoming atmosphere for students, educators and visitors alike. An HCM design mantra is that “every space is a learning space”; we believe that learning can occur anywhere a student has access to what he or she needs to fit their learning style, whether that is a group workspace, a quiet retreat, or an outdoor classroom. Providing these varied, flexible learning areas is an important part of designing for the future.
Cherry Creek School District (CCSD), in Arapahoe County, Colorado, passed an “Innovation Bond” to provide 21st Century learning space renovations to all district elementary and middle schools, with the goal of improving critical thinking, curiosity, and teamwork, as well as providing project-based learning opportunities and real-world experience to students. This bond provided for library renovations, STEM labs, group collaboration areas and makerspaces, among other spaces supporting the district’s Career and Innovation/Technology goals, based on each school’s individual needs. Walnut Hills Elementary School was one of the 13 CCSD schools for which Hord Coplan Macht is designing innovation spaces. Walnut Hills received a new STEM lab, learning commons and makerspace, as well as a library renovation. This project was completed in time for the 2018-2019 school year.
HCM visited Walnut Hills Elementary almost a full academic year after the project was finished to interview students and educators on how the space has impacted their learning and transformed their school. Watch the video below to hear what they had to say!