Precedent Studies:
Old Donation Elementary School 
Location: Virginia, United States 
Type: Gifted Education

Description: Old Donation Elementary School was built to host intellectually gifted students in grades two through eight. The goal of the design was to effectively design the building so that every area can be utilized a teaching space. The building practices the concept “Buildings that Teach” by integrating the building elements into the curriculum.
Discovery Elementary School
Location: Virginia, United States  
Type: General Education

Description: The Discovery School in Arlington, Virginia was the first school to be designed in the 21st century. The purpose of the school was to prove how a newly designed school can support the way students learn. Discovery Elementary School was the first school to receive the LEED Zero Energy certification.

Luther Elementary School 
Location: Wisconsin, United States  
Type: Special Education

Description: A new addition to the Luther Elementary school is a sensory garden that features flowers, vegetables, and swings that aim to create a sense of well-being during each student’s experience. Even with a low budget, the teachers were able to design an exceptional and therapeutic experience for every child. 

Design Considerations 
Environmental Education
Sensory Engagement 
Design Development
The original site plan lacks a parking lot, safe pick up/drop off zone, a large outdoor playground, and a safe space for young students to walk freely. The redesigned site plan includes 2 playgrounds, garden,  outdoor learning space, parking lot to encourage parent involvement and a safe entry.
Original Site Plan
Original Site Plan
Redesigned Site
Redesigned Site
Site Circulation
School Bus Circulation
School Bus Circulation
Teacher Circulation
Teacher Circulation
Parent Circulation
Parent Circulation
Student Ciculation
Student Ciculation
Parent Circulation: Parents have the option to park in the lot and use the north entrance or drop their students off in the loop.
Student Circulation : Students can enter from the north or east entry during the pick-up/drop-off.  Students use the west exit to enter the gym.
School Bus Circulation: Buses line up in front of the north entrance and can exit onto the street.
Teacher Circulation: Teachers can enter from the parking lot to the west entrance or main entry.

By moving the main entrance of the school allows students to enjoy a safer walk inside than the previous design permitted. 
Adding more trees and landscaping to the outdoor spaces enhances the overall appearance of the school and is beneficial for the environment as well as the students well-being. 
Studies have shown that younger students prefer to go to school in a place that reminds them of home. Adding a stone veneer to the exterior of the building creates a less institutionalized appearance of the school.
Playground & Lounge: 
This is a secondary entrance to the school, only in use during the beginning and end of the day. And here, Parents are able to wait in the drop-off line that wraps around the school or walk from the parking lot. Students are encouraged to play or read outside if they are dropped off early or picked up late. 
Students are secured by a stone wall that wraps around the building. This replaced the metal fence allowing the site to be more welcoming.
There are two playgrounds for the students to use during recess. This one here is larger and prepared for the older students. While the one on the right is designed for younger students. 
The outdoor lounge encourages students to read on their own or allows teachers to hold a class outside.
Sensory Garden:
Sight: The visual impact of a sensory garden is vital and therefore the garden features an array of colorful plants and green trees. 
Touch: By using a variety of flooring, including brick, stone, and grass. These are smooth so that disabled students are able to enjoy the garden as well. 
Smell: Plants like lavender and rosemary are planted in the garden so that the student’s sense of smell is engaged. 
Sound: The sense of sound is engaged by the sounds of the leaves rustling, especially during the fall. Students have the opportunity to create wind chimes in art class to enhance the garden. 
Taste:A fruit and vegetable garden and a greenhouse are located in the garden to engage the student’s sense of taste. These items are used in the school cafeteria.
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