Renovating an elementary school first remodeled in 1898 when the original 1842 school burned, and that was further added on to and renovated several times over the past 179 years, proved challenging. A unified, cohesive design to tie the building together and to incorporate current program needs was undertaken. Elements of the original buildings were left intact and incorporated, including a wood-burning stove and foundation (1842), foundation stones, Cream City brick and door (1890), and glass sidelights (1950’s), which are displayed in the school lobby.
The K-8 school needed a larger music suite, updated art space, a re-imagined special education space, renovated classrooms, and group collaboration space. The biggest challenge was to design an addition that gave the school the space they needed but still fit with the context of the existing school from the exterior and interior perspective.
New flooring, utilizing almost exclusively Starnet Vendor Partner products throughout, made a huge impact on the feel of the school classrooms, corridors, and shared spaces. The new design of the Armstrong VCT corridor flooring relates back to the carpet chosen in the shared spaces.
The collaboration space was the largest portion of the overall project addition. School families and staff voted and chose the Milliken option, tying the flooring and quilt-patterned mural to the rural character and history of the community. Several colors were used throughout the existing portions of the school and the collaboration space is where all these colors came together in one space.
This project was led by a third-year apprentice, with the support of a senior project leader and a project manager in an ongoing initiative to teach project leadership skills to our emerging young leaders. Great design, great products, and great installation result in a great renovation of an historic, important community institution.