Carden Park Elementary School

St. Joseph School District | St. Joseph, Missouri

The building was designed to replace several small, aging elementary schools with one larger facility that accommodates small learning communities and future education changes through its unique modular design. There are three 200-student learning communities and one hybrid community combining early childhood and district-wide special education programs. Each standard community is designed to accommodate 200 students and be subdivided into two 100-student neighborhoods. The four neighborhoods all share a common-size module to accommodate future use and expansion throughout the district.

  • Student learning communities
  • Early Childhood and Special Education learning communities
  • Flexible Spaces
The Challenge

How do we re-imagine this building with traditional school spaces to accommodate large populations and serve as a headquarters to the district's entire child services efficiently?

The Solution

Traditional school spaces such as the library, cafeteria, stage, and lobby, had to be re-imagined to maximize their potential. This challenge was met by arranging three of the small learning community modules, as well as a unique module housing Kindergarten. Emotional, physical, and behavior development programs connect through a large 2-story flex studio.

Details that make a difference.

Asymmetric layout and playful ceiling fixtures add a vibrancy to students' usually-repetitive flow between classes. ​

The use of vibrant color-coating throughout the space creates an imaginative environment, and viscerally aides students as a way-finding tool.​

Wide hallways with integrated accessibility ramps provide continuous, unimpeded stress-reducing traffic flow.