CMS Community School
WSA works with community to develop a new community center for the neighborhood within the budget established for a simple addition to a school.
DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS (DPS)
CMS COMMUNITY SCHOOL (CHARLES M. SCHENCK ELEMENTARY) – REMODEL AND ADDITION Denver, Colorado
Wong Strauch Architects was selected to develop a design for the expansion and renovation of the CMS Community School. The scope was a simple addition to a 1960’s era school building, upgrade ADA, and add new energy efficient windows to the original. Also in the project was a new ‘learning landscape’ play area for the students.
WSA worked with the Principal, teachers and parent committee to design a different type of addition that didn’t attach the two level building to the original, but placing it in the center of the new learning landscape and providing a new building entry to the child drop off area. This allowed for unique designs on the main level for the ECE/Kindergarten students classrooms and outdoors, with the older children on the second floor. The neighborhood has a very strong ethnic culture where WSA respectfully designed the building to celebrate this in the exterior design. Utilizing bold colors and unique detailing makes CMS unique in DPS, and it has become a center for the community to gather.
By working closely with the staff and community, WSA created a special facility that not only meets all of the programmatic needs of the school, but has gone beyond to become a community icon that created a special place for the neighborhood to celebrate their ethnicity and culture.
The addition and renovation to CMS Community School comprises approximately 16,500 square feet of new construction and 60,000 square feet of renovation. Difficult existing site conditions required creative problem-solving for location of the new addition and learning landscape. 9 new classrooms are being added, those being ECE and Kindergarten, Training and grades 4-5. Accessible restrooms were added to meet current ADA standards along with an elevator. The design incorporates ethnic themes from the neighborhood in the architecture while respecting the existing building.