Will Rogers Elementary

Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
Program: Pre-K to 5th Primary School
LEED Certification: Pending Silver
Status: Complete, 2014
Collaborative Partners: Selser Schaeffer
Photography: © Ralph Cole Photography

Will Rogers Elementary School accommodates approximately 600 students from pre-kindergarten through the 5th grade. Located in Stillwater Oklahoma on a 12 acre lot within a residential suburban neighborhood, bordered by a creek and vegetated terrain. The programmed building area is 2-storeys with a combined area of 92,000 gross square feet, which preserves 90% of the site as open space. Sited parallel to the creek, the building’s mass echoes the existing landscape. The ribbon windows and composite panel façade ripples with a multitude of colors interrupted by vertical masonry planes defining circulation and entry points. The main entry canopy stretches tangentially from the building encompassing a seated plaza. The glazed double height lobby floods the space with daylight. Walls in the exposed cast-in-place concrete corridors are softened with colorful tackable surfaces and wood paneling reflecting the language of the exterior materials. Wide open stairwells in three locations allow students and teachers to assemble, reinforcing the client’s desire for a sense of community within the school. The north and south exterior plazas serve as gathering spaces, student planting areas and outdoor classrooms. The main play areas are sited north of the property, accessible by a continuous walking path with pedestrian bridges that span the existing creek. Enclosed play areas with a variety of hard and soft surfaces are provided for the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students directly outside their classrooms. This arrangement provides safe and easily monitored spaces for the school’s youngest students.