Howard Elementary School is home to a vibrant technology immersion program. A new building, conceived of as a center for the community, was designed to replace the existing 60-year-old school.
Overlapping the effort with Howard Elementary, the team also designed River Road/El Camino del Rio Elementary School.
Flexibility, transparency, and sustainability were all key themes in the design of Howard. The classrooms are grouped into "neighborhoods" built around common spaces where children can interact and participate in group learning activities. Each neighborhood is given a strong sense of identity through the use of a bold accent color. Abundant floor to ceiling glass near the entry to each classroom allows for views both into and out from the classroom. PIVOT collaborated closely with DOWA-IBI Group throughout the design process to create a healthy, safe, and stimulating environment in which children can learn.
The classroom neighborhoods are accessed off the centrally located Media Center which acts as the symbolic heart of the school. From the Media Center, both of the exterior learning courtyards can be seen where rainwater collection and outdoor classrooms are located. Sustainability features are highlighted in child-friendly educational graphics in each of the stairwells to help bring awareness and create teaching opportunities.