Located in the fast-growing town of Erie, Colorado, Meadowlark School serves learners in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. The school meets both the District’s goal of being Net Zero Energy Use-ready, as well as its progressive strategic plan, “The Success Effect.”
During initial design advisory sessions, community members emphasized the importance of an outdoor lifestyle and advocated that the new school feature open, outdoor gathering spaces. These desires resulted in the school’s central heart and amphitheater. From this area extend multiple two-story learning communities that are arranged to enable flexible groupings. Each community includes learning studios, two commons, staff collaboration spaces, small group rooms, and two “flex studios.” In addition, the Curiosity Center (library) opens up to the school’s heart, located above the learning stair.
Visibility, personal connections, flexibility, and security were all central themes during the design process and the results are evident throughout the campus. Meadowlark has a complementary relationship to the neighboring park and regional trails. Due to expansive soils, a crawlspace houses the mechanical equipment and ductwork, easing maintenance access, increasing equipment longevity, and clearing the school’s roof for future solar panels. Super-insulated modular walls and precast concrete sandwich panels go above and beyond energy code requirements. Exterior high-density, concrete rain screen panels give the school a beautiful and distinctive look, contrasting with the dark local brick in a nod to Erie’s coal mining past.
Association for Learning Environments (Rocky Mountain Chapter) - People’s Choice Award, 2017
“I would highly recommend Cuningham to anyone who desires a hardworking, owner-oriented, budget-conscious architect that will strive to meet the vision of how a building will support education into the next century.”
Senior Project Manager