Moncure Elementary School
- New Construction
- 107,000 sf
- Two-story library
- Outdoor classroom
- Jury Citation for Institutional Architecture, AIA Maryland Excellence in Design Awards
- Learning By Design Grand Prize Award
- AIA Maryland, Institutional Architecture
- VSBA Honorable Mention
Connecting a Community of Learners.
The new Moncure Elementary School recently opened its doors for the 2019-2020 school year. This 107,000 sf building reflects the collaborative learning philosophy of the school and creates opportunities throughout for both formal and informal learning.
The heart of the school features a naturally day-lit, two-story library that acts as the central learning commons. The main level includes classroom clusters, administration, gymnasium, dining and arts spaces, all of which are organized around the central library via the learning hub.The classroom clusters on the lower level are connected by a day-lit corridor that opens to the outdoor classroom. The outdoor classroom features chalkboards, educational water and landscape features and other hands-on interactive learning opportunities. The classroom clusters on the upper floor are connected by a bridge with views to the library below and views to nature to the east.
An elementary school over 100,000 sf can be overwhelming for the younger grades. Therefore, efforts were taken to break down the scale of the school into smaller neighborhoods to make students feel more at home. Each of these neighborhoods, or classroom clusters, accommodate seven classrooms. At the center of each cluster is the Collaborative Commons, which is a place where small groups of students can work on projects, research, or engage in other types of learning while supervised from the classrooms through transparent openings.