The first expansion at Cumberland Academy includes a 21st century educational environment, integrating dynamic science and maker labs with a variety of classroom types to support active learning. By co-locating the interactive labs with the classrooms, the lifelong learning experience may more easily evolve over time. Flexibility, Access, Collaboration and Engagement were driving themes informing the design decisions at Cumberland Academy – spaces are flexible, resources are easy to access, L-shaped classroom configurations allow for collaboration and student own spaces support engagement, truly changing the ‘face’ of learning space design.

The planning process involved stakeholder engagement from all levels of the high school. The student-facing discussion to understand the desired experience for students on campus involved reflection exercises for the educators and visual thinking activities for a larger group. In addition to co-locating STEM spaces with typical learning spaces, the conversations encouraged outdoor learning space, creative circulation nodes, a student-run café and finally a double-height space for the community to interact with the learning taking place inside. 

The first phase also includes a new athletic center and a performance space, bookends to the building, establishing an environment that will provide students with inspiration for success. 

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Project Details

  • Tyler, TX

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