Pawnee Elementary School
A natural color palette at Pawnee Elementary School ties into the community’s desire for a connection to nature.

The existing Pawnee Elementary School was an aged facility in need of updates to equip students to succeed. The district decided to construct a new school on the same site, making use of the site’s location nestled into a neighborhood. Designed to fit the unique needs of current and future students, the dynamic building offers moments of whimsy and play. The interior design and graphics throughout the school revolve around the concept: Habitat for the Panthers – Part of a Bigger World” which seeks to honor the individuality of each student’s world perspective as they journey through Pawnee Elementary and become future leaders of our community. Pawnee is on track to receive LEED Silver Certification.

Pawnee strives to be inclusive for all learners. For many learners, especially young children who are entering a structured school setting for the first time, it is important to have spaces of refuge where they can decompress and feel safe. At Pawnee, these spaces are designed in the main collaboration space, located around the periphery of the large area. A special “treehouse” moment provides a moment of refuge with a house-like ceiling element overhead and window view down to the “Panther Parkway” below. Environmental graphics are integrated into the curriculum of each grade level, utilizing the building
as a learning tool.

Overland Park, Kansas
Shawnee Mission School District
New Construction
78,000 SF
$29.8 Million
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Pawnee Elementary School

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