- Raise awareness of social distancing rules with thoughtfully integrated environmental graphics
- Integrate new return to school policies with consistent messaging within your space that reflect your institutional policies
- Use your space to highlight your health and safety approach and support your culture
Case & Point - SMMUSD Discovery
The multi-use Discovery building at Santa Monica-Malibu USD stresses long and short-term flexibility and the potential for adaptive use. While the $133 million Discovery Building is planned to open for the fall 2021 semester, it is already receiving attention for its flexible design, which meets both the specific short-term pandemic imposed needs while creating a dynamic facility that will meet the needs of the District for decades to come.
While the HED and Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners did not initially anticipate that pandemic proofing a classroom would become one of those needs, the design team reimagined how the building could accommodate socially distant, outdoor, and hybrid education models.
The building is designed with a flexible, open-column grid, raised floors, and non load bearing walls, which means the layout can be resigned over time.
“We have been able to demonstrate, within the context of the pandemic, that the new building can flex to accommodate social distancing and linear circulation to enhance safety. Classes can spread apart by taking advantage of the connections between classrooms and the common areas adjacent through folding glass doors,” said HED Principal John Dale.
About the Authors*
John has been involved in the master planning, programming and design of public, private, educational and community projects for over 30 years. By defining small learning communities which boost student achievement, promote sustainability, and galvanize community involvement, he has established widely recognized models of regional and national significance.
He lectures at numerous educational conferences both internationally and nationally, and has published multiple articles on the topic of high performance educational design. In recent years he co-founded The Council on Open Building to advocate, educate, and promote the future-proofing, flexibility, resilience, and sustainability of educational facilities.
*This piece was assembled from the summary and findings of "Programming and Designing for School Facilities for Change," presented at EdSpaces 2020 by HED Pre K-12 Sector Leader John Dale, BrainsSpaces' Amy Yurko, and Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners' James O'Connor.