FSB’s design for this Pre K – 6 school gives students the tools for success.
Providing Oklahoma City with a long-anticipated new elementary school – the first constructed in more than 10 years – was a labor of love for FSB staff. Thanks to a $690 million MAPS for Kids program approved by voters, this desperately-needed building is a first step toward alleviating the city’s extremely overcrowded K-12 schools. Accordingly, the new Cesar Chavez Elementary is a multi-story, 36-classroom structure that houses approximately 750 students, from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
FSB’s time-tested practice of obtaining detailed input from all stakeholders in a project was particularly critical with this effort, as the team utilized information gathered during extensive charrettes with the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Public Schools coordinator, the OCMAPS Trust, the school board, administrators, staff, parents and others with a vested interest. The end result was a design which will provide an optimal learning environment that gives these at-risk students the tools and resources to be successful.
Inside Cesar Chavez’s walls, the academic spaces are organized around two stories of education wings. Serving as the school’s central hub is an attractive, expanded media center, with a curved wall and an arc of windows casting floods of natural light over bookshelves and seating.
Another centerpiece of the building is the multi-purpose cafeteria/auditorium/gymnasium. This room and the classrooms all feature vivid square and rectangular tiles patterns, done in dark red, blue, yellow and cream.
Separated grade levels create a double-loaded corridor which maximizes the space for hands-on learning opportunities and adaptable informal areas. A maximized use of natural daylight and bright colors throughout provides an inviting and stimulating environment, increasing the students’ ability to learn. Public and private spaces, connected by common areas, serve as a gathering place throughout the school day, but can also be blocked off for community events after regular school hours. A nurse’s station contains room for two cots and a small amount of equipment, giving it the appearance of a small health clinic.
Coming in under budget and on schedule, FSB has created an outstanding environment that fosters a student-centered approach which addresses the multiple ways that students in the 21st century learn and interact.