The Ronald Reagan Academy is a Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade public elementary school with a specialized curriculum focused on “Leadership” through the study of ethics, community service, government, communications, management and finance. The Academy has a capacity of 750 students and offers before and aftercare for 3-4 year-olds, as well as after-school programs for the entire student body.
Flanked by a train station and a busy intersection, the 3-story school was designed in response to these urban elements. Higher activity areas, i.e. the gymnasium, cafetorium, and music room were carefully organized and located on the side closest to the higher degree of noise level to create a sound barrier. A vestibule strategically divides this wing from the Academic Wing, which is isolated to the quieter side of the building. This wing houses classrooms and science labs, as well as the art room and high-tech media center.
The exterior and portions of the interior of the building are accessible only by security card such as the Pre-K and Kindergarten areas located on the ground level. Grades 1-4 and Grades 5-8 are housed on the 2nd and 3rd levels, respectively.
With security being a high design consideration, the site is surrounded by a fence and includes a private interior bus lane to safely drop off and pick up children. Behind this fence is a fully enclosed, vibrantly colored courtyard located directly outside administrative offices and under the watchful eye of the principal, for the extra security of the children.
Colorful masonry block, varied in texture, and sloped roofs with metal accents, exudes a “residential feel” that helps blend the structure within its surroundings. Also, strategically designed lighting and landscaping adds a soft touch becoming a pleasant part of the adjoining community.