Design Discussion: Florence Crittenton, Denver Public Schools

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Twice a month, OZ hosts a firm-wide, in-house, design discussion, where anyone can stop by, have a beer, and offer input to the week’s featured project.

This week’s design discussion took a closer look at the Florence Crittenton High School, a DPS Intensive Pathways school for pregnant and parenting 9th to 12th grade girls.  This school’s services include, childcare, clinic, and a social services component.

OZ has completed an assessment and master plan for this project.  The design discussion topics included massing, materials and what components of a design are of more value in this unique project type.

Unique features include:

  • Planning for a Daycare and Early Childhood Center serving children from 6 weeks – 4 years
  • Intergrating an addition and remodel on a multi-building campus which has two existing structures to make a more cohesive environment
  • A quick planning process that produced documents for fund raising and Board approval

Our discussion revolved around the massing of the building to make sure that it was welcoming to students and that the entrance was a beacon to those arriving at the campus.  Additionally, we talked about lighting concepts for effective learning in classrooms and multi-use gym and cafeteria spaces.  As always, our discussions serve as a fresh perspective to help solve particular problems the design team has been facing with a goal of presenting more thoughtful design to our clients.