Following an April 27 symposium to gather ideas for a new Truman Elementary that would help the school overcome its facility-related challenges, planning teams of staff members and architects translated the key themes into architectural concepts and designs. On April 29, they unveiled four concepts for a new, larger school.
The following illustrations are artistic conceptual drawings only. They do not reflect final school design plans.
Truman is a family in every sense of the word. From the immediate family within the quiet learning spaces to the extended family, Truman fosters a sense of belonging through engaging students in active learning.
Truman believes in the wellness of body, mind and soul. This design brings in the outside and provides opportunities to explore life outside.
Relationships—student to student, student to teacher, teacher to teacher and community to school—are intersected throughout this design, all the while highlighting the school’s truth: Together, we are Truman.
This vision for Truman unites past, present and future; embraces real-world, global experiences; fosters community and collaboration; and enhances the essence of “I am Truman.”
The concept melds the school’s open-concept past with future collaborative spaces. This includes flexible learning environments that allow for real-world experiences; project-based, hands-on learning; and technological advancements. The building is a learning tool, showing operations through transparent walls, open ceilings and visible inner workings. A Family-Community Resource Center provides a sustainable gathering place for the community. The design also includes outdoor learning spaces, covered exteriors, natural light and a courtyard between the library and classrooms. An atrium connects both levels, doubling as a gathering space with innovative stairs for larger groups and events. Attached to the atrium is an imagination station where kids are creators in charge of their learning. L-shaped classrooms provide calming spaces for rejuvenation. These spaces have a comfy atmosphere where students feel safe.
What makes Truman special is the strong community, as demonstrated by its motto: “I am Truman.” This vision extends a sense of belonging to the greater community, positioning the school as a hub that welcomes neighbors. The design includes an outdoor town square and Family-Community Resource Center. Neighbors enjoy natural features, including a park-like setting with a nature trail, natural play features and places to gather.
Inside, dedicated spaces are designed to support high-energy activities: PE, creative movement, art and music. Other spaces like a calming garden and indoor walking track are designed to enhance social-emotional growth. The cafe is a place for students to eat, socialize and gather. Learning studios provide a flexible space for large groups, small groups and individual learning. Function meets beauty in spaces that are designed to nurture a calm atmosphere with natural light, hard and soft surfaces with views and access to outdoor learning opportunities.
This concept draws inspiration from students’ perspectives, celebrating their learning through form and function. The organic forms of large gathering spaces reflect students’ interest in casual collaboration and learning activities. The facility becomes a tool for teaching math and science concepts such as rainwater harvesting.
The ExCourt’s focus is on lifelong fitness, wellness and exploration. The space accommodates a variety of physical activities.
The Artzcourt is a multifunctional space with tiered seating where all students and staff can gather for meals, presentations and activities.
A second-level media center/makerspace allows for research, prototyping and the use of specialized technology equipment.
Learning stations provide flexible, adaptable spaces for different types of instruction. These spaces open to the outdoors to maximize natural light and connection with the natural environment.
The planning team presented their ideas to the school’s staff and the community to gather additional feedback. An extensive review and planning will assess feasibility and affordability and hone the concepts into more detailed plans. To stay up to date with the latest Truman information, subscribe to the Re: Schools e-newsletter.
Want to comment on the three design concepts? Take a short survey to provide your feedback.
In March 2015, the district conducted an informal online survey about district facilities needs. More than 1,500 respondents—parents, students, staff members and the community—told VPS how its buildings and properties could be improved and suggested schools that should be rebuilt. Ongoing symposia and staff, parent and community presentations are providing input on school designs. This input helps district leaders assess facilities needs and plan for the future.
Many VPS schools are slated to be rebuilt or significantly renovated. Every other VPS school will receive upgrades.
Proposed funding for the work is a bond measure that could be on the ballot in February 2017. However, the district’s board of directors must first approve the measure before it can appear on the ballot.
The community last approved a VPS bond measure in 2001. That bond helped replace or build Eisenhower, Franklin, Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Sarah J. Anderson and Washington elementary schools and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.