Arlington Independent School District’s newest elementary school, James and Barbara Adams Elementary School, recently received its Certificate of Occupancy, signaling the District’s next steps of opening the school to the public beginning next month.
The VLK Architects-designed campus features spaces conducive to teaching 21s t Century learning, including indoor collaboration areas housed within each grade level wing and outdoor learning spaces between the wings. This was Arlington ISD’s first steps toward instituting more innovative facilities for their students, by changing to a new design for their elementary schools, from the previous prototype that had been used. Each area was created to support the use of handheld technology. In addition to the student-centric learning concepts, the school has incorporated sustainable elements, such as maximizing daylight into all teaching spaces, to reduce the amount of energy needed for artificial lighting.
The school serves grade levels Pre-kindergarten through sixth, and the design is focused on appropriate grade-level separation while maximizing adjacencies to core spaces in buildings, such as the library, activity room and cafetorium. Wayfinding components are integral in the design, in order to support the grade-level configuration. The contractor, Buford-Thompson Company, hopes these details will translate to ease of use for everyone at the school. “We want all students and staff to have a good, overall experience with this building,” says Project Manager Joel Martin. “This is such a unique project. It means a lot that we were able to work on this school; I would say it’s easily one of the top projects our company has worked on over the years.”
“This was an incredibly successful project for Arlington ISD and we are proud to be able to design a school that takes the District’s goals for innovation in their facilities and curriculum to the next level,” says VLK Principal Sloan Harris, AIA. “We’re very excited to see the students and teachers use the school as the District continues to evolve into 21st Century Learning.” The school is the first of its kind in Arlington ISD by including spaces that support 21st Century Learning as well as project-based curriculum.