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Hartford J1 Elementary School Green Classroom

School District of Hartford Joint One Elementary School

Hartford, WI

The School District of Hartford successfully passed a referendum for an addition to the two elementary schools in their district. PRA has worked within the School District of Hartford for 10-years, and they engaged us again to help decide how to allocate the funds.

One of the goals of the project was to attract new families and young parents to the school district. To achieve this, the School District opted to build a four-classroom addition at each of the two elementary schools. In addition to a tight timeline and budget, the superintendent also tasked PRA to design and construct the project to have a “WOW” factor.

Classroom flexibility and transparency were incorporated into the design of the additions. Small breakout rooms were created inside of the classrooms for specialized learning, as well as to minimize travel time between other rooms and offices. An intervention room with writeable walls, reconfigurable furniture on casters, and outside wall storage connects the new classrooms and has increased staff collaboration.

A strong focus of the project was on wayfinding and queueing for children. Classrooms are branded with different colors to help kids know where to go. This branding extends to the floor throughout the corridors and in front of personal cubbies to help with travel throughout the school. In the reading areas, checkered floor patterns suggest where kids should position themselves during story time. Queuing for younger students is very important to keep the day organized and streamlined, so defining these spaces and communicating intended behaviors were key drivers for the success of this project.

The “WOW” factor was achieved and the project went above and beyond what the superintendent had originally envisioned. The additions completed on time and under budget, which allowed the School District of Hartford to make upgrades to another school in the district.