Expanding the Options for All Classrooms: Virco PlanSCAPE Brings A School Vision to Life
Built in 1975, Gerald Adams Elementary was due for renovation when aging pipes and electrical issues were proving too costly to repair. So, in June 2017, the school broke ground for an all-new facility at the original location on Stock Island, Key West, just adjacent to the existing building.
From the start, administration and faculty shared a vision for 21st Century learning with the latest in technology and security – which was realized in the new multi-structure, two-story facility of 91,000 sq. ft. But just as important was the desire to make the new Gerald Adams school into a versatile learning environment, so they turned to Virco PlanSCAPE for guidance.
The Virco PlanSCAPE team met with teachers in each grade level to define their vision. A versatile learning environment meant that each space – classrooms, commons, media center – would serve multiple learning functions. Each space would have seating at various heights, and each classroom would have access to soft seating, too. The challenge, then, was to deliver a mix that satisfied all parties, remained under budget, and delivered in time for the January 2019 opening day.
Virco PlanSCAPE made it possible to mix and match seating options, taking their vision and budget into consideration. Each classroom would feature tiered desk arrangements, with ground-level seating, traditional-height desks and activity tables for collaborative learning. To deliver on the vision while remaining within budget, classroom spaces would flow freely into commons furnished with tiered soft seating, which also transformed spaces for added functionality. Virco chairs and soft seating were matched to the vibrant school colors to complement the fresh and fanciful design.
To further keep costs within budget, all furniture was purchased through U.S. Communities, now a subsidiary of OMNIA Partners.
Each grade level features a mix of ZUMA Series Floor Rockers, ZUMA Series Cantilever Chairs, 4000 Series and 5000 Series Activity Tables and ZUMA Series ZBOOM Desks with Boomerang shaped tops for collaborative learning. Some also include soft seating for a fresh take on learning time.
To deliver on the promise of versatility, common areas with comfy soft seating serve as extensions of the classroom, as well as impromptu meeting space for students and faculty.
Modern and multifunctional, the Media Center features soft seating, hideaway study areas and 5000 Series Slide-Shaped Tables matched to the S-shape bookshelves. Tables and bookcases are on casters for quick transformation for instruction or faculty meetings.
The multifunctional cafeteria serves so much more than lunch. With its grand seascape wall, the cafeteria is the center of the school. Mobile Convertible Bench Tables easily transform from dining table to bench configuration with a full backrest – creating comfortable seating for performances and meetings.