- LOCATION: Vancouver, WA
- COMPLETED: 2003
Planning the Hazel Dell Elementary School was a collaborative effort that included parents, staff, community members, and LSW’s design team. The group envisioned a school that would meet the needs of its unique population and provide educational and recreational opportunities for the community from morning to night. The school responds to the students’ needs through a variety of educational spaces and a welcoming atmosphere.
A large percentage of Hazel Dell’s students qualify for free- or reduced-price meals. In response to the need for additional resources for students, both Head Start and the Boys and Girls Club have programs at the school. This partnership between the school and community groups expands opportunities for children age three through high school and has improved the community with after-school programs that have lowered the crime rate in the neighborhood.
One of the key features of the school is the volunteer center that gives lunch buddies and other volunteers a dedicated place to work with the children they tutor. The center is incorporated with the reading specialist’s area, separated by a moveable wall, so volunteers and staff members can work with children in small groups or individually. Community involvement in the school is further encouraged in the school’s design. Zones allow portions of the facility like the gymnasium and commons to be opened for evening activities without allowing access to the dedicated learning areas.