Studio Kremer Architects

Studio Kremer Architects

Louisville, KY


New Dixie Corridor Elementary School (Jefferson Co KY)

One of four new schools the Jefferson County will start this year, the Dixie Corridor Area Elementary School will serve the students of Wilkerson Elementary and Watson Lane Elementary, two smaller schools from the 1950s. While neither of the existing schools could be adapted to provide appropriate accommodation of contemporary teaching / learning, the new facility is organized with the necessary flexibility to serve current and future developments in education. 

Siting of the building is configured to allow future development of the southern part of the site. In the meantime, mature trees have been retained and will be protected during construction. Separation of traffic (cars, buses, pedestrians) was a critical consideration in the site planning, as was stormwater detention in this relatively flat part of the community. 

Upon entry to the school, the students, staff, and visitors initially encounter the large glass windows into the Media Center and Makerspace, an opportunity for the school to feature activities going on in the school. Just off of the entry lobby, a two-story stair hall is a hub of activity for the Art, Computer, and Outdoor Classrooms, and provides access to the main classroom wing.

Classrooms, organized in ‘neighborhoods’ of four, surround supplemental break-out, resource, and intervention/pull-out spaces, accommodating small group collaboration and 1-on-1 interactions. The classroom wing is oriented so that classrooms’ large windows are north- and south-facing for best use of natural daylighting. Daylight sensors throughout the building to automatically reduce lighting levels where natural daylight is sufficient. 

At the middle of the classroom wing’s second floor, two classrooms can be joined by opening a movable partition, allowing for use as a single large presentation space or meeting space. Teacher collaboration spaces and workrooms are provided on both floors, and a secondary group of offices at this level assures that school administration isn’t separate but is embedded and visible in the life of the school.

Durable and energy efficient materials and systems have been incorporated throughout, including brick and metal exterior cladding, a standing seam metal roof, thermally resistant insulated concrete forms (ICF), and energy efficient windows. A mechanical platform nestled under the sloping metal roof accommodates service of building systems without disturbance of school activities.

The Gym, constructed of pre-cast concrete, has been designed to be used as a tornado storm shelter. Battery powered lights, natural ventilation, and dedicated plumbing are all included to allow the space to be a shelter during a tornadic event - a requirement for schools in the new Kentucky Building Code.  

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Louisville KY