Churchill is a highly acclaimed school specializing in helping children with learning disabilities, grades 1-10, to achieve and return to a traditional classroom through an intensive individualized education. Christner designed this replacement school to provide a more suitable learning environment for students, improved training facilities for teachers, and expanded athletic facilities.
We designed the 44,000 sf school with the gym, library, classrooms, and offices arranged around a 2-story commons. The school incorporates smaller classrooms (from 1:8 to 1:15 teacher/student ratio as children advance) and an array of one-to-one tutoring spaces. The school's common areas are multi-functional, daylit and user-friendly.
Size: 48,000 sf
Status: Completed 2007
Christner's design for the new school reinterprets the Arts and Crafts Style of the beloved former school. We positioned the school on the 11-acre campus and incorporated a four-lane track, a soccer field, playgrounds and parking for 70 cars.
The main entry with its masonry arches is a prominent and lively spot on campus. It is visible to, and controlled by administrators in the adjacent offices.
The light-infused atrium is the central hub of daily activity. It also serves as a prefunction space for the adjacent commons/theater, and links the administrative, academic and athletic wings.
The central stair offered us the opportunity to incorporate hand-made tiles created by a Churchill parent. The starfish theme, which represents a treasured school story, is repeated throughout the atrium.
In the large, multi-purpose commons, children study and play, eat their lunch served by the adjacent kitchen, and perform plays and recitals throughout the year.
We reflected the Arts and Crafts style through the school, including the library entry detailing. The large windows, visible from the atrium, invite students in.
We included one-way glass doors and an audio connection to let parents and teachers monitor student progress without interfering. To enhance the learning environment, internal and external sound-dampening features and a nearly silent HVAC system were incorporated.
Roller hockey is the most popular school sport, so the gym floor is designed specially for in-line skates, and is also well-suited for basketball. The rock-climbing wall is a fun addition to the array of athletic activities.