NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
WINDOM KIMSEY, WENDY SUN, JENI PANARS, CHRIS LUJAN
Reflecting the generational changes which have occurred throughout the neighborhood anchored by the Lincoln Elementary School since 1963, the design for this replacement facility celebrates the rich tapestry of cultural identities of its diverse residents while recognizing the link this site will forever share with the nearby Nellis AFB following a tragic air crash in 1964.
Providing a safe and vibrant learning environment was of primary concern for the design team. Given the on-going challenges present in the neighborhood surrounding the site a unique strategy for the building massing allowed for a series of internal activity areas which are not impacted by such external challenges. After hosting a multi-day design charrette with teachers, staff, students and community members the design team presented an overall design concept that would serve as the basis of our collective vision for the school.
Beyond providing insular classrooms and standard learning environments the design team sought to advance the character and function of otherwise neglected spaces. As such, the main circulation corridor along the northern portion of the facility was enhanced without impacting the overall area. Core functions serve as a buffer to this zone and further isolate sound transmission between the classrooms and corridor; thus providing a more dynamic interior that serves as both an area for circulation and breakout educational opportunities.
This zone is oriented from east to west and benefits from a series of large roof monitors which provide daylighting throughout the space. Furthermore, the organization of the building program creates both public and private courtyards that serve as special outdoor learning environments and community spaces. The main entry lawn serves as a community lawn in a neighborhood which lacks such informal spaces—a reality that is not uncommon in this region.
Collectively, these deliberate gestures support the overall goals of the design team while addressing the requests of those who participated in the charrette. This facility successfully situates itself on an existing site and allows for the construction process to occur without interruption to the existing buildings on-site which must remain operational. The new Lincoln Elementary seeks to continue its legacy as a central destination in the neighborhood since 1963 and providing needed learning and activity spaces for the community.