2020 Schools of the Future



SF-Check.pngAt Patcraft, we know that creating a learning environment that encourages collaboration, critical thinking and innovation requires a more sophisticated design.

To celebrate the schools that implement these elements, we host an annual nationwide competition of K-12 and higher education institutions that are dedicated to transforming the performance of learning environments. We donate $1,000 to the recipients in an effort to spotlight and honor school facilities that featuring future-ready design elements, including Patcraft flooring, that transform the experience of their students, faculty and communities. 

Judging for the most recent designs was conducted by a panel and took place in the fall of 2019.

The Education Village at Winona State University (Minn.) and Walnut Grove Elementary School (Ind.) were recognized as Patcraft's 2020 Schools of Future. 

We are extremely proud to support these schools and provide a donation to help continue to invest in these efforts.

Winona State University

The Education Village project significantly renovated and expanded three former 1920’s through 1960’s era education buildings, transforming them into 21st-century academic environments for the College of Education at Winona State.

The Village provides a full range of classroom environments, from robotics maker space to active learning and STEM classrooms. Key to the College of Education’s mission was to design an environment that challenged students to adapt to different teaching environments. The design provides contrasting state-of-the-art renovated spaces, allowing students to practice in a variety of real-world situations.

The buildings were also modernized with new intuitive entries welcoming students to the College and creating additional spaces for interaction and study. Windows were restored to their original design with energy-efficient glazing, reversing a dark 1970’s remodel, and envelope, roofing, roof structure, restrooms, B3, mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems were gutted and fully updated.

Designed by Leo A Daly, our Mixed Materials and Mixed Materials Converge Collections flow throughout the Education Village in the higher education lobby, classrooms and administrative areas to support their goal of creating a visually updated, open learning space for our current and future generation of leaders. 

Photography by Anthony Gilbert © Gaffer Photography.

Walnut-Grove-1.pngWalnut Grove Elementary

Walnut Grove Elementary is a new elementary school in Bargersville, Ind., about 30 minutes south of Indianapolis. The school was created to accommodate the Center Grove Community School District’s ever-growing student body. The number of students at the schools grew by more than 1,500 between the 2001-02 and 2018-19 school years, school officials said.

Welcoming students for kindergarten through fifth grade, everyone had new and exciting experiences in both the school’s shared spaces and classrooms when Walnut Grove Elementary School opened its doors in the fall of 2019.

Students have the freedom to move as they please between their classroom and the hallway, as the walls facing the hallways are made of retractable glass panels. The open layout and fluidity of the school are especially represented in the library, hallways and innovation labs. Throughout those areas flow Cube & Colour, Alloy Shimmer, Work.Study.Play and Shadowgraph, which create a bright-colored, trendy environment for this one of a kind school designed for the digital learning age.

A statue of a walnut tree Walnut-Grove-2.pngstands in the lobby with colorful lights illuminating its leaves. As students enter the hallway, they notice curvy vines featured in the flooring design, as if stemming from the roots of the tree sculpture, leading students to their brand new classrooms. Green vines lead to kindergarten and first-grade classrooms, red ones lead to second- and third-grade classrooms, and yellow leads to fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms on the second floor. Lancer + Beebe, LLC selected Cube & Colour from our Mixed Materials Converge Collection to incorporate these wayfinding elements into the design of the school.

Another aspect of the school that sets it apart from other schools is the slide, which connects the first and second floors. The slide has a locked grate in front of it on the second floor, which is unlocked when students have significant achievements, such as a marked improvement on a test score, perfect attendance or being in a class that raised the most money for a particular cause.

Photography by Kristen Faye Photography.

Learn more about how we transform the learning experience in K-12 and Higher Education.

Do you have a K-12 or Higher Education project that has transformed the learning environment? Contact your account manager to submit your project for the 2021 School of the Future.