New Construction

Kentucky District Opens New Elementary School

Bowling Green Independent Schools in Bowling Green, Ky., recently celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new elementary facility, Rich Pond Elementary School. Work on the project began about two years ago and continued through the pandemic, according to local news, and also entailed the demolition of the original building to clear space for the new one behind it.

Local news also reports that 830 students attended the first day of school on August 10. “It became a reality that we’re in our new building,” said Principal Derick Marr. “We closed the year out with 77. So we are seeing an exponential amount of growth on this side of the county.”

The district partnered with Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects on the project’s design. The school houses students in grades PreK–5. Each grade has its own pod, according to the firm’s website, and has individual classrooms surrounding a flexible learning area. Second- and third-grade pods are on the first floor and third-, fourth- and fifth-grade pods on the second. The building’s central space will serve as a flexible commons area that will be used as a practice gym and a staging area for students arriving to and departing from school.

The campus gym features a stage and seating for 850 and was also designed to serve as a community tornado shelter. The area can withstand winds of up to 250 mph and can operate independently in terms of HVAC, plumbing and electricity during and after severe weather events.

The building’s second floor also contains a media center overlooking the commons that contains multiple areas of flexible seating and furnishings. The media center contains amenities like a wireless computer lab, a makers space and a story-telling area, according to the project’s website.

“We tried to incorporate the features and the traditions of the old building and brought them into the new with just a facelift,” said Marr. “The history that’s been here was definitely something that we tried to tap into. As you walk through the building, you’re gonna see some things that we worked on. We brought pieces of the old hardwood floor.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].