Kalamazoo Public Schools

Prairie Ridge Elementary School

Kalamazoo, Michigan // 84,532 sq. ft.

Client Challenge

As the first new school in the district in thirty years, the building meets the needs of today’s educators and students and anticipates the needs of the future. In addition, the district wanted to expand building-use beyond the normal school hours for the community.

TowerPinkster Solution

The facility is built on a wooded site with a dramatic grade change. The building is zoned into two main components: the education wing and the community-use wing. This zoning allows for expanded use of the building beyond the traditional school day. Also, the building contains a number of fresh and exciting educational spaces. These include a two-story media center, a learning commons located at the center of the education wing, and mudrooms and small group rooms that are shared between two classrooms. The installation of the accessible roof garden and its placement between the art room and the flex-use classroom allows for the creation of a sculpture garden and a science exploration space. This new school promises to serve as a flagship for the Kalamazoo Public Schools as the district constructs facilities that fulfill “The Kalamazoo Promise” in the community. It was the first school in Michigan to achieve LEED-Gold status.