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Riley Elementary School

This elementary school is the oldest elementary school in its County. Originally built in 1951, it began as two classroom buildings and a small administration office. Over the next 55 years, the school underwent many renovations and additions to its campus. This latest phase introduced a new Media Center to the complex and converted the former media center into a Technology Education Facility. The new additions have helped bring it into the County School District “Technology Magnet” program and further enable the school to keep their grade “A” status.

The Elementary School Media Center was to be visually perceived as an elemental assembly of components, much like building blocks or puzzle pieces. Creating this playful effect was a design challenge with efforts being made to avoid predictable solutions and schemes, both on the interior and exterior. Walls, windows, beams, canopies and roofs are all intentionally fashioned to appear as individual elements pieced together as a composed, multifaceted whole. The simple hip roof appearing to float above the walls below is supported by thin steel tube columns allowing clerestory light into the main volume of the library. More natural light slips through a fragmented, translucent image of the school’s matriarch oak tree applied to the glass of a massive north-facing storefront window. Walls slipping in front of windows, soffits extending from the exterior thru to the interior and roof spans supported by an oversized I-beam are all assembled in balanced asymmetries. Interior finishes include golden-stained, maple millwork, warm toned carpet and built-in casework and book displays. A large built-in display case and upholstered benches under the oak image window provide a place for teachers to read to their students or a cozy spot for the children to read on their own.

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