EDspaces Virtual Tours

EDspaces 2020 provides more tour options than ever before for expeditionary learning from the comfort of your home or office. Included with all your All-Access Pass for the EDspaces Digital Edition, is your choice of educational facility site visits that feature sustainability, makerspaces, new construction, renovation, and award-winning design. All tours include an educational component in a variety of learning environments, and each qualifies for (1) AIA LU/HSW credit.

The Virtual Tours are sponsored by our partner:


Tuesday, November 10, 12 noon (ET)

Reeds Spring Middle School, Reeds Spring, MOAIA Educational Facility Design Winner
Presented by Dake Wells Architecture

Rather than employ conventional site preparation methods that scrape, flatten, and often destroy a location's natural character, this new school in Reeds Spring, MO, was placed strategically at the edge of a wooded area to flow gracefully down an existing ravine. The preservation of the site clearly informed the design solution, which that echoes common elements found throughout the surrounding landscape.

The project is part of the school district's effort to unify its campus on one contiguous piece of property. It purchased 150 acres of undeveloped land that separated the high school from three elementary schools and selected the land as the site of its new middle school. Initially, the district was in favor of conventional methods for clearing the land. However, but a collaborative planning process helped shift its focus to preservation, but only if it is doing so could save money in doing so. A cost analysis proved that, while initial construction costs would be higher, the school's ability to capture daylight, divert stormwater runoff, and minimize exterior walls would result in reduced operating costs. In addition, the new school's location allowed all five of the district's schools to be connected by a new ring road that significantly reduces annual bus travel.

The team found inspiration in four hallmarks of the Ozark landscape: the cave, the bluff, the stream, and the shed. A retaining wall — the bluff —is the continuous element running through the school that allows for construction into the hillside. Two large openings in it — the caves— offer access to a competition gymnasium and a 1,000-seat performing arts center buried in the hillside: both and doubling as tornado safe rooms. In the central atrium, a three-story cascading stair and common area evoke the stream and offer students a place to gather for socialization. The classroom wing — the shed —s the only visible element of construction and is home to the school's evolving learning spaces.

By piloting new teaching methods and being the first in Missouri to provide mobile devices to every student, the district had long been an innovator, but its existing school buildings were not reflective of its ingenuity. The design of Reeds Spring Middle School elevates the district's push for technology integration, collaborative learning environments, and tornado safety under one roof.

Tour Presenters:
Brandon Dake, Design Director, Dake Wells Architecture
Matthew Thornton, Project Architect, Dake Wells Architecture
Dr. Travis Kite, Middle School Principal, Reeds Spring Middle School
Steve Verheyen, Director of Operations, Reeds Spring Middle School

Cherry Park Elementary School of Language Immersion, Rock Hill, South Carolina
Presented by Moseley Architects

Cherry Park Elementary School of Language Immersion, the major capital project of Rock Hill Schools' last five-year bond program, comprises a newly constructed K-3 facility and partial renovations to an adjoining middle school to house fourth- and fifth-grade wings. The new school consolidates the district's popular language immersion program at a central location that provides a clear pipeline for students through the eighth grade.

The project consolidates the district's language immersion programs onto a single campus. The new school unifies the district's language instruction and creates a pipeline allowing students to continue in-depth language study. The kindergarten through first grade, second and third grade, and fourth and fifth grade halls all have their own "Casa Maison," comprised of expanded circulation space that occupies multiple teaching stations for break out and collaborative learning. The Casa Maisons are located on each level of the new construction and in the existing building in the renovated area adjacent to the media center. The interior design concept features wayfinding around the collaborative areas reinforcing the space and designating the path of travel.

The virtual tour of Cherry Park will highlight the new building as well as the renovated portions of Sullivan Middle School. These spaces will be showcased through pre-recorded walkthrough and drone footage, renderings, and diagrammatic site and floor plans. The tour will also incorporate feedback interviews with principal Pat Maness, current teachers, and students (pending district approval). These participants will provide insights into a typical day in the life at Cherry Park and explain the ways the built environment supports the language immersion program's distinct pedagogy. Footage from existing promotional videos from the school's opening may also be incorporated.

Throughout the project, options were carefully evaluated so that full advantage could be taken of the district's existing assets, capacity, and funding. A close partnership with the client paved the way for a state-of-the-art school that the community takes great pride in. The virtual tour narrative will trace this collaborative process and the key decision points that laid the foundation for the project's success.

Tour Presenters:
Jimmy Wilhide, Managing Principal, Moseley Architects
Patrick Maness, Principal, Cherry Park Elementary School
Brian Vaughan, Executive Director of Facilities Services, Rock Hill Schools


Wednesday, November 11, 12:15 pm (ET)

Rio del Sol STEAM School, Oxnard, CA
2020 Learning By Design GRAND PRIZE Award; 2020 A4LE Awards of Excellence - Honor Award;
and 2019 AIA Pasadena Foothill Chapter Award

The Rio del Sol STEAM School, a new 900-student K-8 campus in Oxnard, California, serves a diverse local community, largely comprised of an underserved migrant population.

Realizing a vision set by Rio School District Superintendent, Dr. John Puglisi, of creating learning experiences that value and inspire creativity, culture, and caring, this virtual tour will focus on how pedagogy and space can evolve in tandem to create a freedom-centric and transdisciplinary model for learning. The design of the new Rio del Sol School embraces both progressive teaching methods and contextual influences to promote curiosity through student-centered environments; community through elements relating to Chumash culture; and soft skills through multi-age-interaction and open-choice settings.

The planning process sought to engage both community members and District staff, while also acknowledging, and drawing inspiration from, the site's history and connections. Reflecting this commitment, Chumash culture and values were explored in detail as part of the overall community engagement effort. The tour will highlight how the campus was planned and designed to learn about the past, the here and now, and the future.

A meandering path through the campus serves as a metaphor for the ever-evolving, inquiry-based pedagogical model of the school, while responding to the site's context – it's adjacency to the Santa Clara River – and answering the question, "How can we help the river find its way for the next 100 years?"

In support of the notion that true learning cannot be prescribed or dictated, but occurs with spontaneity, the new school features makerspace and STEAM-focused learning environments. Immersive learning environments are created through strong indoor/outdoor relationships. Each classroom-lab opens up to indoor or outdoor makerspaces, while providing access to the educational meander. The indoor-outdoor integration of focused makerspaces for building, literature, fine arts, performance, science, and nature provides all students with access to specialized, hands-on/minds-on educational tools and settings.

The tour will highlight all major programmatic components of the school – Welcome Center, K-8 Classrooms, Indoor/Outdoor STEAM Center and Makerspaces, Library/Media Center, Multi-Purpose Space, Culinary Center, Outdoor Stage/Theater Classroom, and Administrative Space - through a virtual walking tour with video clips of students using, playing and learning in the spaces. The tour will also showcase pedagogy through interviews with District representatives (Superintendent and Principal) as they guide us through their own reflections about the impact the new campus has had on students and the STEAM educational experience. Concluding with a 15-minute live Q&A session, attendees can interact directly with the tour presenters to learn more about the project.

Tour Presenters:
Olivia Graf Doyle, Partner | Design Principal, A4E (Architecture for Education)
Rachel Adams, Partner | Managing Principal, A4E (Architecture for Education)
Dr. John Puglisi, Superintendent, Rio School District
Dr. Ralph Cordova, Principal, Rio School District


Thursday, November 12, 12:15 pm (ET)

Canyon View High School, Waddell, AZAIA Educational Facility Design Winner
Presented by DLR Group

Eager to serve the generations of learners in Waddell, AZ, Canyon View High School encourages academic success and exploration by expanding on the notion of a place-based school. Developed in concert with parents, students, and local business and government representatives, the story of its design and construction is one of collaboration. Nearly 500 stakeholders took part in community meetings to shape the bold ideas that form the foundation of its design.

Welcoming nearly 2,000 students every day, the overall design of the school's 237,120-square-foot school design fosters grade-level collaboration and several pedagogies among diverse spaces that help individualize learning. Ownership of the classroom has been transferred to the collective school, and its faculty rotate through the learning spaces weekly, while students enjoy the freedom are free to pursue a curriculum in line with their interests. To that end, all classes are able can to adapt to spontaneous learning and can be adjusted on the fly.

The design team leveraged the Southwest's climate and arranged the campus as a series of buildings around a central outdoor agora, where students gravitate to outdoor eating areas and can opt to skip the indoor cafeteria. The central node of the agora, a cluster of learning environments that promote the future of teaching and learning, is dubbed the accelerator. The accelerator hosts several the school district's events and was showcased at an international conference focused on innovative learning spaces.

Four learning communities compose the agora's north edge where, on the second floor of each community, flexible learning and teaching spaces shift depending on specific group activities. Imagination and creativity run rampant in these spaces, a series of connected spaces that fluidly merge with one another and are playfully referred to as forts. A mix of six primary learning settings are positioned around each suite with two labs and connections between them. A central learning common in each fort can accommodate group configurations of all sizes, from intimate to large, with comfortable seating and integrated technology.

Thoughtfully crafted and carefully balanced within the constraints of the budget, Canyon View High School hinges focuses on the student experience. Highly flexible in its approach, it blurs the lines between ages and abilities to present truly authentic learning.

Tour Presenters:
Pam Loeffelman, FAIA, Principal, SW K12 Sector Lead, DLR Group
Phillip Nowlin, Principal, Canyon View High School
Dr. Dennis Runyan, Superintendent, Agua Fria Union High School District #216

Jefferson Early Childhood Center, Wheaton, IL
Presented by Legat Architects

Playful patterns, sensory havens, and integrated therapy: competition-winning design supports early learners at all developmental stages.

Find out how the new Jefferson Early Childhood Center (ECC) kicks off a lifelong learning adventure for Community Unit School District 200's youngest students. The virtual tour will reveal how the design, winner of a district-sponsored competition, inspires curiosity and discovery for early learners, including the two-thirds of Jefferson ECC students who have special needs or disabilities. The 59,000-square-foot school offers collaborative classrooms and dedicated indoor/outdoor therapy spaces, as well as a community welcome center and resource room for parent training.

District and school leaders will share how community engagement sessions, early learning programming, and teacher input influenced the design. The architectural team will use 3-D models and hand drawings to help attendees visualize design challenges.

The highlight of the tour is the sensory courtyard at the heart of the facility. Visible from throughout the school, the courtyard offers a haven for students at all developmental stages to create, explore, and interact. Attendees will also experience a secondary outdoor therapy space designed to promote independence and confidence, as well as a motor skills zone that doubles as a tornado shelter. Among other areas the tour guides will introduce are a controlled vestibule entry, community welcome center, integrated therapy rooms, and corridors that encourage exercise and creative play.

The tour will show how the design exemplifies "ergonomic transposition," which considers how small children experience the world. For instance, exterior and interior glazing frames views from a child's perspective: high windows display sky and clouds, while low windows reveal grass and plants. Throughout the building, windows are aligned to create moments of discovery—some spots allow occupants to see clear through the building.

Attendees will learn about the steps the design team took to lower the building's carbon footprint and energy consumption. Lightweight fiber cement panels used on classroom wings reduce the embodied carbon load. Energy-saving features include a geothermal field and north- and south-facing classroom windows.

Come see the Jefferson ECC, where energy and discovery are around every corner.

Tour Presenters:
Stephanie Mangini, Principal, Jefferson Early Childhood Center
Jeff Schuler, Superintendent, Community Unit School District 200
Robin Randall, Principal, Legat Architects
Loren Johnson, Project Architect, Legat Architects
Paul Pessetti, Project Manager, Legat Architects