Govans Elementary School is one of the highest performing schools serving pre-K through 5th grade students in Baltimore, MD. As part of a strategic plan set forth by their partnership with the Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP), one of the primary goals established for this neighborhood charter school is to grow the student enrollment from 374 to 596 by 2021. The school will help implement BCP’s 21st century learning curriculum standards through its unique spaces featuring social spaces and learning environments that will accommodate 21st century technologies; and focus on integrating rigorous activities that emphasize key skills, such as: critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and communication.
A notable intention of the building design, is the separation of functions through the two-story specialty wing and the three-story educational wing. The specialty wing consists of administrative offices, student support services, community space, a gymnasium, media center, visual arts studio, video studio, technology education, science, and a cafetorium and kitchen/servery. The educational wing is comprised of classrooms, collaborative areas, and learning support spaces. On the façade, brick is the prominent material, intentionally used throughout to relate to the surrounding vernacular. Two brick colors expressed in different applications provide an “earthy” aesthetic. Metal composite panels and wood-like metal cladding are combined to give the sense of a modern design approach; juxtaposing materials through a cool and warm palette.