Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD wanted a campus that would meet the needs of a 22nd Century Learner, a student who is creative, tenacious, collaborative and joyful. Through a process that involved community members, educators, students and administrators LPA guided the district to design Sheffield Elementary School with the student in mind. Workshops included exploring a ‘day in the life’ of a future elementary student as well as learning modality assessments to first determine what the learning looked like, allowing the creation of spaces that support the goals, while managing future flexibility and adaptability.
The result is a learning environment with strong connections to the outdoors, reflecting the strengths and talents of LPA’s integrated team. The 90,000-square-foot Sheffield is organized around a central learning courtyard, featuring learning environments with connections to specific spaces, such as the Art Studio. The environments are organized into team teaching "learning villages" that surround a shared collaborative space. Each village is unique and aligns with the vision for the future teaching opportunities. The collaborative space includes a "pop up presentation" area and tiered learning environment. Each co-lab has direct access to the courtyard and to the playgrounds surrounding the campus.
Safety was an important feature. The gymnasium and cafeteria are clustered together to create a large shared tornado shelter that can accommodate the entire population of the school. Other strategies include transparent connections and innovative technology and security, intended to be ‘invisible’ and non-obtrusive safety strategies. Overall the campus adheres to the initial guiding principles created in the early visioning and programming stages, focusing on Collaborative, Future Ready, Balanced, Interconnected, Student Centered and Dynamic. Th school is scheduled to open in the 2022 school year.