Cedar Falls Southdale Elementary
posted on October 26, 2015 in Education
New development in Cedar Falls created a need to expand this neighborhood school from a three-section to a four-section building. The design team was able to accomplish the transformation of the 1960’s building by developing a four-phase approach of additions and renovations, which allowed the building to remain occupied during the school year.
The first phase of the project added classrooms that blended with the newest wing of the building. A new full sized gymnasium that opens to a student commons and functions as a raised performing stage was also added to serve the larger student population. Taking advantage of park like vistas to the South, the commons has a wall of glass that utilizes a large overhang and sunshades to diffuse the sunlight to fill the entire space. Additionally, special classrooms for music and art were designed to be centrally located.
The last phase re-purpose the existing spaces inside the original building. The existing gymnasium was turned into the media center, which is now central to the building. Finally, the entrance was shifted away from a hidden corner and a taller addition was added to compliment the gymnasium addition and draw attention to the new main entry. This new front entrance also adds a school office and security vestibule for the building, which when combined with electronic locking and compartmentalization, allows a new level of safety that was not originally available. Additional parking, better vehicular flow, additional play areas, and fire lanes to allow truck access to the rear of the building were incorporated into the site work.