Students Collaborate to Design New Site for Schools
The Gossler Park Elementary School and the Parkside Middle School grounds in Manchester, New Hampshire have a new look.
This important site transformation was recently completed by Hoyle, Tanner’s Land Development team to improve student safety, which is a high priority for both the schools and the City. Design objectives included separation of pedestrian traffic from vehicle circulation through reconfigured sidewalks, parking and pedestrian crossings while also providing ADA accessibility.
The site improvements also included a new basketball court and soccer mini-pitch, lighting, drainage improvements and a new, fresh landscape with a granite monument dedicated to Private Henry Gossler. The design was expedited to allow construction of the shared parking lots and recreational areas to occur during summer vacation when the students were no longer in session to minimize impacts on school operations.
To incorporate the school’s Project-Based Learning (PBL), members of our team collaborated with second graders at Gossler Park Elementary to help “design” the new parking lot and recreational areas. The 7- and 8-year-olds used multi-colored shapes to visualize how they wanted the new area to look. The teams used visual-spatial reasoning to come up with ideas and learn about the new changes they would see when they arrived back at school in the fall.
The design team also presented the project and answered questions about stormwater management to over 120 seventh graders while also sharing their backgrounds and the path that led them to careers in civil engineering and marketing. Shortly following this collaboration, more team members visited the seventh-grade earth science students at the Middle School at Parkside. The students presented their end-of-year stormwater treatment models, since water had drainage issues on one of their fields. They made compelling presentations as to why their method of treating stormwater would work the best.
The students’ Project-Based-Learning guided by our team was a success throughout both elementary and middle schools, as they took part in the real-time transformation. The collaboration between the students and our design team became a reality when this project was recently completed.