PROJECT BLU SKY: EARLY PLANNING


The immersion planning stage of PROJECT BLU SKY officially began in spring 2017. Correspondence with James Hanis, Architect, continued sporadically as he worked the Imagineering Project at Disneyland Paris. On several occasions the time between our correspondences stretched out to what felt like "way too long." Would this be when busy lives got in the way and the correspondence ceased? I had not yet learned the art of filling my mind with possibility versus what all could go wrong when pursuing a dream.

The architect's correspondence always came. Detailed planning pages filled my inbox. It was the task of a dedicated team of staff members to fill in the blanks, to begin to flesh out the details of how The Learning Center approach to education would drive facility design.

Yes, there were numbers of bathrooms to be determined. More importantly there was space in the blanks and between the lines to capture some priority specifics sacred to the best in educational facility design:

  • Avoid architectural boxes. Instead, gravitate to open designs, to interactive technology walls, to spaces that shift and change depending on the learning unfolding within the environment.

  • Insist on project space where student work can remain setup through the "mile deep" work and discovery process.

  • Create storage areas for supplies and materials that encourage student discovery and use.

  • Design learning spaces that support collaboration and rich E-STEAM across-the- curriculum offerings.

  • Provide presentation areas coupled with walls that welcome and celebrate student work.

  • Offer space that prioritizes health, wellness, the arts and electives as core subjects.

  • Extend learning space to the great outdoors.

  • Set the highest environmental and sustainability standards.

The early Spring 2017 planning engaged a team daring to dream of a new facility. Over the course of the next three years, as the genius of the James Hanis' design concept captured our powerful approach to education, PROJECT BLU SKY emerged as a daring and bold educational undertaking. Only now, in the fall of 2021, have I begun to grasp the "paradigm leap in the making" that will "capture the imagination to think of ideas that do not exist and to create a new world in changing reality through Education."




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