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Sunset Heights K-8

The best 21st-century schools provide instructional flexibility and spark student curiosity.

When the Peoria Unified School District Board decided to build their 32nd school, the approval came with a vision — abandon the District’s current prototypical school design and create a new standard. They identified four criteria to drive design: flexible learning spaces, student security, sustainability, and bridging the gap between traditional schools and their technology-enabled 21st-century schools.

This $16.4 million new school features a two-story plan with an internal circulation that segregates grades by floor and wing, minimizing interaction between upper and lower grades. Each classroom features large windows and daylight sensors that optimize daylighting. Flexible learning spaces with glass partitions are located on each floor, which enhances project-based learning and group study. These partitions are inviting and spark student curiosity, as well as allow teacher supervision.

The second-floor library is an especially engaging space that features a large north-facing bay window and serves as a learning destination, activity center, and technology hub. This space is figuratively the wheelhouse of a ship steering the District in a new direction for enhanced student learning and staff success.

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