HMFH Architects

Hopkins
Elementary School

  • Grades 4-5
  • Students 600
  • Size 75,000 ft2

The Hopkins School solves a severe overcrowding problem at the elementary level in this growing rural town, and allowed the town to implement its program of three two-grade elementary schools: K-1, 2-3, and 4-5. Designed to serve the oldest elementary students in town, HMFH created a facility that best responds to the needs of the 4th and 5th graders, but is flexible enough to change with a shifting population

Occupying a site constrained by scattered wetlands, the 75,000 sf school makes optimum use of available land, and appears tucked into the woods when viewed from the main road. The two-story building clusters its 24 classrooms in an academic wing, with each pair of classrooms sharing a small breakout room for tutoring, special education, and other small group learning. The classrooms are arranged in a U around shared specialized spaces, including the library, computer lab, science, general project room.

Administrative and public spaces are connected to the academic wing by the school’s main corridor, which is dominated by a large, open stair. Both the corridor and stair provide playful surprises in the form of windows into other spaces in the school. This transparency provides a visual connection that students find exciting, giving them a sense of ownership in their school.

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