SEI Architects collaborated with Charles County Public Schools and community to plan and design a project to modernize and expand the aging Samuel Mudd ES from a state rated capacity of 404 to a 76,819 SF sustainable LEED Gold certified facility for 21st Century Learning serving 542 students.
The design approach utilized the majority of the existing building with strategic additions to maximize natural light in teaching spaces and provide an intuitive plan arrangement. The new plan appropriately separates public and private zones of the building with the gymnasium, cafeteria, and media center consolidated near the main entrance and all classrooms along the perimeter wings. In the building’s core lies the special programs serving all students use such as art, music, and science.
Each grade is organized in a 3-classroom pod which surrounds a collaborative learning area (CLA). To capture circulation area for additional instructional space, the CLAs are strategically planned at corridor ends to eliminate through traffic. Each CLA is carefully crafted as an extension of every classroom through the use of glazing for supervision, teaching walls, furniture, flooring and ceiling details. To enhance the elementary student experience, color is assigned to grades which act as a wayfinding system and is used as space defining elements in both the CLA and classrooms through the teaching wall and floor patterns.
The project also incorporates some unique programs such as a special education regional center and a Judy Center. The special education program includes classrooms for the Transition Academic Adaptive Skills Class, the Multiple Intensive Teaching Program, and the Life Skills Program for students who are moderately delayed cognitively along with delays in motor, adaptive skills, and communication. The special education classrooms are arranged in the building’s core for inclusion and are supported by a resource room, office, sensory room, transition room, and outdoor learning. The Judy Center is prominently located adjacent to the main entrance with its own dedicated entrance for community use off-hours. The program features a reception area, two offices, and a learning space connected within the early education neighborhood of the school.