Buchart Horn designed a new 121,044-SF K-5 Elementary School accommodating 900 regular education students and 150 special education students.
The building is three stories above grade plus a basement for mechanical equipment and storage. Design choices were made with a two-fold consideration: First, be fiscally responsible with the District’s budgeted funds, and second, select materials that were not only sustainable in composition but offered practical solutions for ongoing maintenance and operations. Ceramic tile was used instead of vinyl composition tile, which results in an approximate annual savings of more than $7,000 in maintenance costs. While the up-front capital costs were slightly higher, the life-cycle costs for maintenance will recoup the additional investment many times over.
Teaching spaces, including a large-group instruction area on the third floor overlooking the entry plaza, incorporate natural light to enhance the learning environment and to reduce energy costs. The school also uses an air-cooled chiller system to generate ice using economical electrical power during off-peak evening hours and stores it in underground storage for cooling during daylight peak periods. Occupancy sensors will control lights in unoccupied rooms and recycled carpet was used throughout the building.
The presence of rock at the acquired site, not uncommon in the area, provided challenges during site excavation of the former golf course site. The site includes parking for 20 buses, 120 staff/visitors and handicap, parent drop-off area, and a loading and service dock. The site design successfully separated the parent drop-off from bus loading areas. One exterior play area is exclusively for kindergarten students and two play areas are for grades 1 through 5.