The Princeton Charter School (PCS) has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to education, and now it’s upping its environmental credentials as well. The school recently made a very sustainable addition to its Campus Center – a multi-use facility that houses a sports complex as well as art and music classrooms. At a time where parents struggle to find schools that still develop music and the arts, PCS has grown its athletic and arts facilities with an addition that is targeting LEED certification.
The new 17,000 square-foot mixed-use complex includes a gym, a theater, an art studio, and a music classroom. The architects at Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects LCC were enthusiastic to bring sustainable design to the Princeton Charter School: “We’re excited to be part of this visionary project for PCS,” said FMG Design Partner Michael Farewell, FAIA. “Our plan for the campus integrates a comprehensive outlook on long-term growth potential for its facilities, so that the school can grow with its students.”
Serving kindergarten students through grade 8, the new buildings make the most of natural light, ensuring plenty of playtime and opportunities for child development throughout the day. The southern orientation of the buildings allow for a roof-mounted photovoltaic array to capture solar energy. Rainwater on the site is collected and channeled to a system of irrigation channels that recharge the soil naturally and water the school’s vegetable garden. The hope is that the new campus addition will be an integrative part of the curriculum that serves as a teaching tool for natural process, helps kids understand the daily changes in natural light, and elucidates the relationships between building and the need for shared green space.
Images © Brian Rose