Virco PlanSCAPE furnishes newly renovated Junior High School with flexible furniture.
Student population had rebounded in the central Indiana town of New Palestine and the school board approved the repurposing of a closed middle school into the new Junior High School. The school board had a specific vision for this new school, an environment that supported technology, collaboration and innovation.
With a target to open on time and within budget for the 2018-2019 school year, the school board turned to Virco PlanSCAPE to help bring its vision into reality and relaunch a new school for the growing town.
Since it last closed its doors in 2010 due to budget restraints, the former Doe Creek Middle School had been sitting dormant in the central Indiana town of New Palestine. But when the region’s student population grew, the Southern Hancock school board approved a renovation to reopen the facility as New Palestine Junior High.
Thanks to a visionary superintendent who foresaw growth in the area, the school building had been maintained over the years. The relatively modest budget, therefore, could go toward renovations and updates rather than rebuilding. The principal envisioned a 21st Century learning environment for the incoming 7th and 8th graders. With 21st Century learning as its goal, the school district partnered with Virco PlanSCAPE to furnish its spaces for flexible and collaborative learning.
The PlanSCAPE team offered cost-effective solutions to help the principal meet both the vision and budget. Classrooms were designed with a combination of student desks and activity tables at various heights to help support opportunities for students to learn in small and large groups, as well as independently. The library, renamed Innovation Center, was designed to serve as a media center and a central hub for students to gather, as well as a venue for staff meetings and evening school events. And thanks to Virco’s cost savings partnership with U.S. Communities (now a subsidiary of OMNIA Partners, Public Sector), the FF&E came in on budget.
Classrooms were designed to reflect 21st-Century Learning. Chalkboards were replaced with new dry-erase boards. A combination of ZUMA Series Chairs, ZUMA Series Student Desks and 5000 Series Stand-Up Height Activity Tables together provided flexibility for collaborative learning opportunities.
As the core of 21st Century Learning, the new Innovation Center is a flexible, productive space that serves as a place for students to gather, relax and learn. Vibrant soft seating mixed with 5000 Series Activity Tables, Makerspace Tables and ZUMA Series Stools allows students a multitude of spaces to work.
The science labs were already large spaces in the old middle school which made renovations of these spaces relatively easy. Built-in storage units and sinks were repainted to match the updated interiors. Combo Units were replaced with ZUMA Series Chairs and Student Desks that can easily be reconfigured for group work.
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“Our project goal was to retrofit a renovated building for 21st Century Learning, with new furniture and equipment within an established budget. The PlanSCAPE team members were professional, friendly and helpful. They would always listen to our concerns and would address them. They were very patient and took the time we needed to complete the project. The PlanSCAPE team was able to provide us with many different styles of furniture and equipment and shared their knowledge of the furniture, providing pros and cons of what is right in a school environment. They provided the expertise that school people don’t possess about school furniture and equipment. I would recommend the team to my colleagues.”
Robert Yoder, Assistant Superintendent, Southern Hancock County