Crooked Billet Elementary School, Hatboro-Horsham School District
The new K-5 Crooked Billet Elementary School will replace the original 1950’s elementary school on the same site and will be designed for 600 students to accommodate enrollments. Adjacent to the administrative main entrance, a two-story rotunda serves as an interactive learning space that carries the theme of the Crooked Billet landmark in front of the school through the main circulation areas of the building. The rotunda is centrally located between the curricular areas that support the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math program (STEAM) including the STEAM classroom, Media Center, TV Studio and Art classroom.
With an industrial complex on one side of the school, a residential neighborhood in front of the school, and a creek and wooded area to the other side and around the back, the orientation and placement of the building on the site was important to the design. The larger public spaces act as a noise and aesthetic buffer to the industrial area, and the two-story classroom wing on the opposite side of the building takes advantage of the views of the green space down to the creek.
As a community school, is was important to involve as many of the key stakeholders as possible early in the process. The intent was to introduce the project needs and program, identify goals, and to develop concept plans that collectively reflected what a new elementary school might look like on this site. The ideas established through this community-based planning process laid the foundation for the final design that responded to the environmental, instructional and safety concerns brought forth by the planning committee, who truly have a vested interest in the new school.