A 1980s high school library gets a 21st century upgrade using creative design and furniture selection on a limited budget
The library renovation at North Stafford High School was long overdue. The challenge? Design a library that fits a robust program using limited existing space, while also being adaptable and flexible for today and tomorrow’s students. Our job? Engage students, faculty, and administrators in an interactive planning and design process. We took tours of higher education libraries and surveyed students and teachers to help us envision the new library.
Our team designed a more inviting entry by replacing visual barricades (like doors and cinderblock walls) with glass storefront and a roll-up entry portal. We added spaces for making, gaming, group instruction, meetings, and individual study. To support different activities, we selected a variety of tables, chairs, and shelving (most on wheels), made sure access to power was abundant, included writable and projectable walls, and delivered easy technology access. The most visually stunning features of the new library are technology-rich collaboration rooms (of various sizes) that are branded with translucent graphics of famous historical figures that were selected by students in a school-wide vote.
The numbers don’t lie. After the design, the library at North Stafford High School saw a 61% increase in class visits and a 43% increase in walk-ins. Under-utilized? Not anymore.
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