The Saydel Community School District needed a more comprehensive life skills class for special needs students at both the middle school and high school levels. Having programs at both schools divided resources resulting in scheduling issues and less than ideal spaces at each building. The school district wanted a modern and colorful instructional space for group work, a small kitchen for teaching basic cooking skills, and multiple sensory rooms where students could focus on their individual work. The project combines the high school and middle school programs into a singular unit, located on the middle school campus. The renovated space was formerly a computer lab, which was no longer necessary as the district had converted to 1-to-1 laptop use. Interestingly, prior to being a computer lab, the room was originally a family consumer science classroom and kitchen lab space. So this project somewhat returned the space back to its original 1974 function. Many design features respond to the special needs of the student users of the space, including adjustable lighting control, accessible kitchen appliances, and a changing room.
Des Moines, Iowa
Special education classroom