A growing scholar population and demand for tailored learning environments for Special Education scholars brought together Douglas County School District and Leman Academy of Excellence, driven with the shared goal of providing a facility empowering every individual scholar. The partnership is the first of its kind for the school district, and if successful, will serve as framework for implementing similar programs in other buildings.
The existing Leman Academy is home to scholars aged kindergarten through eighth grade, and the new building will also accommodate pre-kindergarten and SPED scholars. While hosting a wide range of ages, the building is designed to encourage each scholar to discover their own voice and identity. Grade-levels have their own outdoor courtyards and playgrounds to ensure scholar safety. Two separate cafeterias allow for efficiency while ensuring scholars of all age groups are comfortable in their environment. The new building is nestled into a neighborhood, and in turn, a strategic pickup/drop-off pattern was a high priority to increase efficiency while maximizing outdoor space.
An important piece of the classical education curriculum is putting learning on display, and weaving together scholars’ courses to enable them to make real-world connections. Shortened corridors increase connectivity and maximize daylighting while offering a blank space for showcasing scholars’ work. Safety and security were at the forefront of design. After passing through the secure vestibule, visitors can gaze down the corridor into the heart of the school, intentionally designed to increase visibility while maintaining scholar safety. The new building is projected to open in August for the 2024-25 school year.
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