When PSC and Seagraves ISD met to initially discuss its new elementary school, the school district had one very simple request – “Get the building out of the way.” So that’s exactly what PSC did.

The result is a new, 21st Century architectural design that use the school as an everyday teaching tool while incorporating collaboration in the teaching areas.

Each grade has its own multipurpose instructional area (MPIA) where library and computer resources are collocated with flexible, soft furnishings and wireless connectivity. The new school is designed without a library or computer lab – allocating the normal square-footage for these areas to the MPIAs. Each grade has three classrooms that open to each other with acoustically-rated folding partitions, allowing team teaching or group instruction. Each side of the instructional wing contains a teacher’s collaboration room for private planning.

The design uses “school as a teaching tool” concepts. A centralized circulation node with diffused daylighting separates the school’s instructional wings. The node’s curved walls frame the bench seating between the two wings. A map of the world is on one curved wall, with a map of the United States on the opposite side, giving students a place to casually observe geography. More importantly, it encourages students to dream about what lies beyond Seagraves. This area was very important to the administration and staff, hoping it would broaden the students’ horizons to the possibilities of what their education may offer.

Ultimately, the 21st Century concept met the school board’s enthusiastic approval and was overwhelmingly supported by teachers and staff in a vote.