MSBA/Easthampton’s Maple Elementary: Educational Themes

3rd floor readingCertain themes have come up repeatedly in our work as Early Elementary consultants to Caolo-Bieniek Associates on the design of the new PreK-8 School for Easthampton.

Working with an Educational Program that encourages 21st century learning strategies such as project-based learning in small groups and informal gathering spaces is a pleasure, but the challenge is to provide them despite the fact that MSBA’s Space Summary Template does not allocate areas for these types of spaces.

As designers, we are exploring a number of ways to accommodate this, without adding extra square footage to the building:
• Adding small work areas in corridors
• Dividing library areas into small ‘level libraries’ in corridors for each grade level
• Adding informal seating in and around open stairs
• Using part of cafeteria spaces as circulation
• Adding intimate gathering area at the entrance for the PreK wing for the youngest students.

The MSBA Facilities Assessment Subcommittee’s discussions were very helpful in exploring these Options as the design team wraps up the Module 3 Feasibility Study PSR.

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