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John Adams ElementaryColorado Springs, Colorado

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After determining Helen Hunt Elementary was in need of significant repairs, the District 11 school board voted to close the school and move the 400 students to nearby John Adams Elementary. But because John Adams Elementary had not not been in use for about five years, it needed a full renovation. In close collaboration with the District, the Design Advisory Group and members of the neighborhood, the design and construction teams pursued an extremely aggressive schedule and completed the renovation in just nine months.

The design for the renovation at John Adams Elementary focused on improved student safety and enriched flexible learning environments. The school’s exterior features a layered entry canopy, improved protected drop-off, outdoor seating areas, expanded parking, a new roof, new playgrounds and shade structures, and a synthetic turf play area. 

The interior features new finishes that bring welcoming warmth of color and pattern. All classrooms received new lighting, and a new controlled entry vestibule enhance safety. A full service kitchen offers the opportunity for scratch cooking. A new mechanical system will provide air conditioning, while new windows will improve thermal performance of the building. New security systems, fire alarm, and technology upgrades are also in place.

Among the new technology assets at John Adams are flat panel interactive boards in classrooms combined with traditional white boards to give teachers and students more options at their disposal. Classrooms feature advanced ergonomic furniture that allow children more freedom of movement.

The library features a large entryway that can be closed with a glass overhead door when a quiet environment is needed. The library’s mural was hand-created by RTA Interior Designer Greg Johnson. The ceilings were removed in a portion of the space to create an expansive feel that now incorporates daylight and views to the outside. The space utilizes flexible furniture systems that allow the room to be quickly and easily reconfigured. A STEAM lab is connected to the library with a large glass overhead door that can open and expand the size of the library.

Hear what students are saying about the STEAM lab: