Brookwood Elementary School

BROOKWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

LEAWOOD, KANSAS

  • Shawnee Mission School District
  • New Construction
  • 76,800 SF
  • $17.3 Million

The walls and floors come to life as avenues for learning and exploration.

Home to over 550 students, the Brookwood Beaver pride shines through in the building’s design. The original mascot, Oscar, is incorporated throughout the building, a nod to proud alumni of the previous Brookwood Elementary School. A mixture of colors and texture mimic those found in nature, and you’ll find a beaver den nestled under the learning stairs that provides a special place for students to socialize or study.

The built environment at Brookwood encourages learning through exploration. As students make their way through the corridors, subtle wayfinding cues and interactive environmental graphics inspire student engagement and spark inquiry. Beyond the interior walls are learning tools integrated onto the building’s façade – a central sun dial and diagram of the lunar phases.

Learnscape-Raytown Quality Schools

LEARNSCAPE 2019

  • Raytown Quality Schools
  • New Trails Early Learning Center & Three Trails Preschool

Nestled between an early childhood center as well as an elementary school, our emerging professionals had to navigate designing for a variety of ages, from 3-11 years old.

The 2019 Learnscape takes students on a “journey” of experiential learning. Designated areas of grasslands, desert, lagoon, forest and a bird’s nest prompt learning about nature and the types of animals that inhabit each climate. The design team of emerging professionals put themselves in the perspective of young learners and used their imagination to develop an outdoor learning environment where students can play and learn.
An impressive shade structure is the anchor of the Learnscape, providing protection from direct sunlight and casting unique shadows. It was constructed of cedar to ensure increased durability, and stone planters can be found at the base, providing a natural boundary for the group teaching area. Sensory tables give students an outlet to refine their fine motor skills and participate in hands-on learning. The tables can be incorporated into curriculum and teachers can demonstrate activities or can be used for free play. The “forest” was designed so students can weave in and out of the “trees.” Designed from the perspective of a young child, the poles bow inward toward the top, giving the wondrous illusion of being surrounded by treetops when they gaze at the sky.

Cassell Park Elementary School

CASSELL PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI

  • Independence School District
  • New Construction
  • 69,000 SF
  • $20 Million

Complete project integration, from architectural design to brand development. 

The Independence School District needed a new elementary school to prevent overcrowding and eliminate all mobile trailers used in the district. Named after a community landmark and prestigious community figure, students and staff now have a permanent place to call home at Cassell Park Elementary.

Now Home of the Knights, students and teachers take pride in their newly branded identity, which is displayed throughout the school through prominent graphics. Just like a knight, the school represents a safe, protective space while exploring a more collaborative, flexible approach to learning.

Cassell Park is the first elementary in the district to pilot Project Lead the Way into its curriculum. A makerspace is seamlessly integrated into the media center with a retractable door, making hands-on learning visible for all to see.

Learnscape-Shawnee Mission School District

LEARNSCAPE 2018

  • Shawnee Mission School District
  • Sunflower Elementary School

An immersive outdoors experience is at Sunflower Elementary School’s students fingertips, with hands-on learning happening everywhere.

Hollis + Miller embarked on a Learnscape journey with SMSD and its students to create an outdoor classroom supporting the students’ desires and the district’s sustainability goals. As part of the process, the students identified their highest priorities for the district, which included incorporating school gardens and natural areas.
The completed space encourages students to discover the natural environment by interacting with the area in different ways. Students can study water conservation benefits by utilizing the on-site cistern as they tend to planter boxes created for each grade level to learn about lifecycles and ecology. A solar panel on the roof of a large, covered deck gives students an up-close connection to alternative energy sources. Even the area’s signage doubles as a musical instrument, teaching students about the physics of sound.

EPiC Elementary School

EPiC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

LIBERTY, MISSOURI

  • Liberty Public Schools
  • Adaptive Reuse
  • 30,000 SF
  • $1.8 Million

Re-imagining a former administrative building created innovative environments for all elementary school students while saving District resources and accommodating rapid population growth. Students at EPiC are encouraged to push the boundaries of what an educational space can be.

The team set out to do more with less, designing spaces that were flexible and multi-functional and support learning at all times. The District owned space in a nearby office building. By moving their administrative office into this space, it opened up space for a learning environment without the expense of designing a new building.

The former District Administrative Center was re-imagined into EPiC Elementary School, an innovative project-based learning environment where “Every Person is Inspired to Create.” Designed to support 300 students, EPiC looks at space differently than a traditional school. Every square foot of the building is viewed as a learning space, supporting student group work.  Hollis + Miller designed flexible, multipurpose classrooms where students are exposed to project-based learning and educational technology. The learning environment also fosters individual learning and encourages discovery. This is an environment where children choose their adventure and have the opportunity to learn however they learn best.

I really felt comfortable explaining my ideas to Hollis + Miller, and the best part was that they would take our ideas and expand upon them.

–Dr. Michelle Schmitz

Learnscape-Grain Valley School District

LEARNSCAPE 2017

  • Grain Valley School District
  • Grain Valley High School

Located on a wooded site just South of Grain Valley High School, the concept was to produce and reveal a sense of coexistence among people, nature and technology.

Through design sessions with Grain Valley students and faculty, the idea to create a dominate walkway of varying heights linking learning spaces of diverse sizes took shape. A layer of technology was added to the site, paradoxically, to aid in the experience of the natural site. The major building materials were purposely kept simple – limestone gravel for the path, Cor-ten steel for the major horizontal and vertical elements, and cedar lumber for the deck. Keeping with our concept, the natural environment will slowly change the steel from grey to a dark red as it rusts, while just the opposite will happen to the cedar. It will slowly change from its natural reddish hue to steel grey over time. These materials speak to the ever-changing natural world. The path links several backdrops for education, including a gathering space for 20-30 students and staff, a collaboration space for smaller groups, a garden space to facilitate biological and botanical curriculum, and an observation area away from the noise of civilization meant to be a more quiet and contemplative space for individuals.

Ervin Early Learning Center

Ervin Early Learning Center

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

  • Hickman Mills School District
  • Renovation
  • 110,000 SF total
  • $7.5 million

Repurposing an abandoned middle school gave pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students a space their own focused on literacy.

Research shows that students who do not have an early education focused on literacy are more likely to struggle throughout school and into adulthood. This dedicated brain-based facility for young learners allowed the District to put an emphasis on this issue without committing more square footage to Kindergarten. It also gave the District more classroom space within each elementary school for older grade levels.

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Boyd Elementary School

Boyd Elementary School

SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI

  • Springfield Public Schools
  • New Construction
  • 56,000 SF

Greeted by bright colors and a sense of place, visitors, staff and students alike can connect with the rich history of the neighborhood.

Situated in historic midtown Springfield, the new Mary S. Boyd Elementary School replaced an aged facility that had served the community for years. The need for an updated learning environment, the addition of PreK classrooms and the expansion of the school’s widely known International Baccalaureate program fueled the worldly design of the new building. Transdisciplinary connections can be found throughout the corridors, brought together at one central point in Boyd Hall. Boyd Hall serves as the “front porch” for students’ arrival each day, a melting pot of varying cultures, graphics and colors. Built to serve internationally-minded learners, Boyd Elementary is home for a diverse community and a safe haven for all.