Mark Trier, FAIA,
Hazelwood Elementary School Media Center | Louisville, Kentucky
Since Hazelwood Elementary’s inception in 1906, it has been dedicated to helping students reach their fullest potential. As part of that promise, Hazelwood has undergone occasional facility upgrades to create a more student-centered environment, and most recently, the school recognized a need to reimagine its library/media center. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics suggests there is a positive correlation between high-quality library programs within schools and higher student achievement. With so much at stake, JRA Architects was chosen to help recreate this space because of our deep experience in education architecture and because we asked the right questions of the school’s design committee.
Our design for the new media center at Hazelwood increases capacity to 700 people. This capacity exceeds the enrollment for the school, affording space to accommodate future growth and opportunities for community outreach beyond the school’s needs. New features of the upgraded facility include a media production room, workroom, a raised ceiling at the central reading area to create a well-lit and more open space, and a kiva—a spacious, yet cozy rounded reading and gathering nook designed after the meeting places of Pueblo Indian tradition.
Today Hazelwood Elementary is every bit as committed to its students’ success as it was a century ago when it was initially constructed. By putting a great emphasis on the media center, the students have been given greater access to a wider range of media, technology and learning possibilities.