Savage Branch & STEM Education Center

Laurel, MD Completed - 2014
Project Highlights
  • 24,000 sf
  • Renovation

From health clinic to neighborhood library.

What once was an old dark library and adjacent health clinic and senior center is now a light-filled, technologically-equipped center for toddlers, teenagers, seniors, and scholars. This new, vibrant, and fresh hub for 21st Century, STEM learning is nothing short of a remarkable transformation, designed to encourage and support this thriving community through education.

The main focus of the renovation was the removal of walls in the existing facility, creating one cohesive and inviting library. The library, designed to provide transparency and connectivity of spaces, features an open plan with abundant natural light, allowing one space to flow into another. The addition of new interior and exterior windows also allow for visual connections between spaces, encouraging connectivity and an energetic atmosphere of learning.

The library celebrates and encourages a STEM educational model through its many technology-enhanced features. The new digital media lab for teens is equipped with the most current technology. Abundant data and power outlets, a coveted laptop bar, and a dedicated teen both section provide ample opportunities for users to “plug-in” and connect to the ever-changing technological world. A state-of-the-art sound engineering studio supports hands-on, active learning. A centrally-located cyber cafe provides collaborative group study spaces that facilitate peer-to-peer teaching and exploration.

The renovated space includes various sustainable features that align with the system’s focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship. The increased natural daylight, efficient systems, and certified sustainable materials all support the library’s sustainable mission.