At 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 October 2018. Presentations for each school were held during first quarter of 2019.
Congressional School (VA), Pine Street Elementary (GA), Florence Middle & High School (WI) and Johnston Wallace Elementary (IA) were selected as Patcraft's 2019 School of Future winners.
We are extremely proud to support these schools and provide a donation to help continue to invest in these efforts.
2019 School of the Future Winners
The Wallace Elementary school district has gone through big changes the last few years. They built a new high school and renovated nearly all of their existing buildings to bring 21st century learning to their district.
Wallace Elementary was the middle school prior to making it a School of the Future. The middle school moved to the existing high school building as they needed more space for their expanding district. The key to the renovation at Wallace was both color and collaboration within each of their 4 "pods" (blue, green, orange and yellow). By removing select walls in each pod and incorporating color and moveable partitions they were able to encourage collaboration between teachers and students. FRK Architects selected our Cube & Colour carpet tile to support their design concept, by using a neutral color with one accent color per pod they were able to use the carpet for wayfinding and indicate specific attributes in each pod. For example, concentrated color tells a student where they should sit in groups or where their pod is. This concept of strategically placed color was coordinated in renderings that the Patcraft Visualization team provided while working with the architect and designer.
Pine Street Elementary
Pine Street Elementary is a new elementary school in Conyers, Ga. The goal for this school was to create an innovative, modern design that provides a flexible, open learning space. Patcraft styles Cube and Colour, Stratified+, and Work. Study. Play. were selected by the architect, Smallwood Reynolds Stewart Stewart, to create a bright colored, trendy environment. This is no ordinary elementary school. It is one of the larger elementary schools that you will find in the area. Designed with open concept learning spaces, flexible furnishing, bright colored walls, and integrated technology that expands the universe of their learning. Providing a setting that students are accustomed to, since they are a part of the digital age.
Pine Street was founded in 1957, with its new building officially opening on July 24th, 2018. Rockdale County Schools Superintendent Dr. Terry Oatts had some flattering remarks regarding the refurbished school. "This learning environment supports teaching and learning in many ways including enhanced technology, collaborative learning spaces, flexible furniture, vibrant colors and optimal lighting and flooring to name just a few. This attention to detail truly makes a difference as we nurture the growth and development of our elementary students," said Oatts.
The new campus includes innovative design elements, promoting collaboration with the teamwork-oriented, interactive learning and colorful wayfinding features to guide the students between the school's four wings. Each wing has its own color scheme that identifies its educational focus. Rhea Davis, an associate at the Atlanta-based architecture firm of Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart Stewart and Associates, Inc. that assisted in designing the new school, commented on the objectives of the project. "Everything about the design was meant to be a teaching tool. When the school opened and the community came in for the first time, you could see all the kids running around to explore all the different spaces. This design is for the students. The school wanted the kids to be excited about learning, so they selected saturated colors."
Florence Middle & Highl School
Florence Middle School and High School has gone through many renovations and additions since being built in 1930. Flooring has ranged from hardwood, original to the 1930s building, to VCT that required heavy maintenance. The interior design goals for this renovation were to visually update the spaces for the current and future generations of digital native students and staff, preserve the original flooring when possible, provide durable flooring for a variety of spaces, and create cohesiveness. To help communicate the school’s identity and history, geometric shapes, wood, and metal of the 1930s Art Deco movement were referenced with the school’s colors.
Patcraft’s Mixed Materials Collection – carpet and LVT - included colors to coordinate with the school’s colors, as well as metallic wood looks. Because of the wide range within the collection, it was easy to use one collection for all spaces without looking monotonous. Squares and planks are common shapes in flooring materials; the variety of shapes within this collection allowed for a wider range of pattern opportunities without additional labor. Lok Worx tabs allowed the carpet to be placed over existing hardwood floors without damaging it. Patcraft’s Visualization team helped ensure the complex, geometric patterns were accurately conveyed for the construction documents and installers. The end result is a sophisticated, playful space that ties to the heritage in the 1930's building.
The District Administrator, Ben Niehaus, explained how thrilled the students were when they came back into their school after a year of renovations. "They think it's awesome and appreciate what we have now. The old building was dark, old and had tight spaces. It didn't mesh with the open spaces and natural lighting that are popular today," said Niehaus. Incorporating Patcraft's LVT, Metallix Facet, provides ease of maintenance, which was an important requirement for this school located in northern Wisconsin. Niehaus expressed how much their floors endure during the long winter months, with all of the salt, muck and snow being tracked into the building. Niehaus stated "We are very happy with the durability of our flooring so far. The ability to keep the floors clean and cared for was considered carefully and green-lighted by our facilities director." Florence Middle and High School design renovations were led by Bray Architects.
Congressional School is a co-ed, independent private school for infants through eighth graders in Falls Church, VA. Every day, Congressional teachers challenge inquisitive young minds through the school’s research-based curriculam with a clear and constant focus on each student’s needs, all in an intimate, diverse learning environment.
Congressional School’s renovation project began in 2015, including new carpet, paint, lockers, LED lighting, ceiling tiles, bulletin boards and a “word wall” emblazoned with the school’s core values. To stay competitive among northern Virginia’s many private schools, “we wanted our physical plant to show our evolution,” said Chris Pryor, Congressional School’s Assistant Head for Advancement. “Our rebranding focused on blending innovative and traditional approaches to education, but our school building just looked very traditional. The décor was plain with no warm colors at all. We wanted a look that was more modern, and flooring to dampen sounds and echo.” The new Patcraft carpet, Mid Century Pop collection-- Color Pop in Custom Stripe and Color Block in Modern--incorporates Congressional’s warm red school color amid light and dark greys.
Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 learn in the “Big School” which was built in 1959 and has had minor improvements since it’s construction nearly 60 years ago. In an effort to make the learning environment more inviting as well as in line with the school’s new brand, Samaha Architects, the architecture firm, worked with the school to design a space that the community would be proud of and showcase the best on behalf of the teachers and students. “The updates created a warm, cozy environment for our young learners. Prior to our renovation, the hallways were stark and dark, and weren’t able to showcase our student’s artwork. Today, with the assistance of Patcraft and Samaha Associates our students and faculty utilize the hallways as an extension of their classrooms,” said Pryor. “You will often find students working on a team project or programming their robot to follow newly written code. The hallways are now vibrant and mirror our academic program: innovative, collaborative and student-centered.”
"Our selection as a School of the Future means a great deal to us, because it recognizes thoughtful design and our ability to bring new functionality to our facility through capital improvements. Thank you to Patcraft for partnering with us to create a space that our students and faculty will enjoy for years to come," said Pryor.
Congressional School truly embodies the mission of Schools of the Future: “Transforming performances of schools that encourage collaboration, creative thinking and innovation.”
Learn more about how we transform the learning experience.
Do you have K-12 or Higher Education project that has transformed the learning environment? Contact your account manager to submit your project for the 2020 School of the Future.