York/Liverpool Elementary Schools
The final projects in the district wide $24,000,000 capital improvement initiative were to replace two elementary school buildings. The two new elementary schools are intended to replace two aged township facilities in the consolidated school district.
Project requirements included the construction of two identical 550 student elementary schools designed to accommodate the current and projected enrollments in one of Ohio’s fastest growing areas. Due to schedule and budget constraints, and faced with the dilemma that two acceptable sites could not be found — alternative ideas were pursed to solve the problems.
The solution that evolved was to design and construct two separate, but identical facilities on 28 acres of a campus that included the existing junior high and high school buildings. Each school was to be separate and distinct with identical classrooms, entries and administrative facilities. The design provided for each school to share facilities located in a central core - media center, gymnasium, student dining, stage, and building services. The concept of the shared central core area solved other district issues such as the lack of adequate gymnasium space for team practices, lack of adequate facilities for performing arts and community functions, inadequate stage space and seating capacity, and inadequate parking facilities for extracurricular events.
The solution accomplished savings of approximately $1,200,000 in construction and site costs. By providing two elementary-sized gymnasiums, which can be combined, a facility is provided that is large enough to accommodate practice space for both junior high and high school teams. By providing two music rooms and combining the stage of both facilities, a performing arts center is created to accommodate the needs of the district and community. The joint media centers provide spaces for computers, story-telling areas, special stack areas, and combine the resources of each school. The zoning of spaces in the facility allows for after-hours use by the community. The combined parking areas provide adequate parking for extracurricular events at all the schools.
Construction elements include overall exterior form, material and color selections that blend in with the existing brick buildings on the site. Sloped roofs were used for the structure to fit into the rural landscape. The use of wood on the ceiling and selected details throughout the interior core areas adds warmth and a sense of serenity. Large windows are used in the classroom wings to allow ample natural light into the spaces and provide visual connections to the exterior. Primary colors in the flooring were used to add interest and vitality and to provide way finding within the classroom wings. Humorous and whimsical sculptural accents, created by a nationally known artist and selected by the staff, are used throughout the facility to the delight of the children. The public entrances are enhanced by hand carved natural limestone panels that depict the four seasons. A geothermal heating and cooling system is provided for the facility and offers long-term operational cost savings and environmental benefits. Systems and materials were incorporated as ‘green’ architectural elements throughout.
The Buckeye Local School District completed a 23.7 million dollar construction program by dedicating a new elementary school complex. The new facility replaced two aging and inefficient elementary schools (Liverpool and York) that were built in the early 1900’s. Architects, Duket Porter Associates designed one building that included two identical 550 student elementary schools that shared central common areas. Each elementary wing mirrored each other and was designed and built in cooperation with the Ohio School Facilities expedited plan. Each elementary building (wing) contains preschool and kindergarten rooms (1,200 square feet) and first through sixth grade classrooms of 900 square feet. All classrooms were designed off of a central hallway and divided separately into primary/intermediate pods.
Both elementary school instructional wings were fronted with administration offices that included a front secretarial/aide/public office area, principal’s office, guidance and psychological service offices, health clinics, records room, conference room and teacher/office work area. Both elementary buildings/wings share common central areas including library/media center, gymnasium, stage, art, music, cafeteria, kitchen and maintenance. Primary and Intermediate playground areas were designed and built to meet the developmental differences in age groups. The district selected geothermal as its energy source which has and will continue to provide substantial energy savings in the face of rising natural gas prices.
Duket Porter Associates’ design is simple and efficient yet aesthetically striking and appealing. The community has appreciated and approved the architects’ and district’s commitment to the economical value, practicality, efficiency and striking architectural appeal in the design and construction of this educational facility. We believe this facility will meet the educational needs of this district and community for generations to come and are proud of the school and the value it represents to our taxpayers and community.