Lemons Mill Elementary SchoolScott County Board of Education · Georgetown, Kentucky
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Focus on Student Collaboration and Individualized Education for All Students
“Lemons Mill Elementary is a beautiful facility. What I was most intrigued by was its innovations in instructional space. Everywhere we went in the school, I saw teachers collaborating and students working together. The innovative design of Lemons Mill Elementary, will provide a model away from traditional elementary school designs, which I call ‘egg-crate schools’. This is a school that makes space fit the learning needs of its students.”
Dr. Terry Holliday, Retired, Kentucky Education Commissioner
Lemons Mill, continues Scott County Schools focus on “thinking outside of the box” to meet the educational needs of their schools. Taking the Districts unique vision, Sherman Carter Barnhart designed Lemons Mill to promote student collaboration and individualized education for all the students. Designed to keep flexibility of spaces, while promoting a sense of community among students and staff, classrooms are organized into two separate learning communities: a primary village which includes preschool through second grade; and an intermediate village, which includes third grade through fifth grade. Along with the classroom space in each village, the is a special education class room, art room, computer lab, and teacher workroom.
The layout of these villages is designed to promote teamwork between grade levels by creating areas for student interaction while promoting a sense of community for the student. Instead of isolating students within one classroom every day, the idea promotes catering the education curriculum to each student. Each childs’ strengths and weaknesses are focused on by moving that child to the appropriate grade level of difficulty for each subject.
Each village in the school contains its own village square, which serves as a flexible/multipurpose area for student presentations, tutoring, experiential learning, history labs, and more.
To maintain space efficiency, the two villages share the gymnasium, media center and cafetorium. The cafetorium is used as a cafeteria, and includes retractable theater seating, a stage, theater lighting and acoustics.
The Scott County School District’s elementary population was increasing at 200 students per year. The need for classroom space to accommodate this growth could not be supported by the district’s funding, creating a challenge of how to increase instructional space within limited funds. In response to this challenge, Sherman Carter Barnhart developed a design for Lemons Mill that could be constructed in phases. Phase I was designed to be built with current funds available and accommodated 600 students. Phase II was designed to expand the student population to 950 students when funds became available. When Phase I was approximately 80% complete, Phase II construction began. With Phase I complete, and occupied by students and teachers, construction implementation of Phase II was carefully planned to avoid any interruptions to the instructional day.
With energy efficiency as a top priority for Scott County, Lemons Mill features many energy-saving features, including a hybrid mechanical system of variable refrigerant volume (VRV) units with a geothermal system. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) were utilized on the exterior walls to promote energy efficiency, along with a heavily insulated roof system.
The school was designed to use construction materials that were strategically selected to fit into a residential neighborhood.