The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

August 31, 2012

New Garfield Elementary wins architecture award

ENID, Okla. — Garfield Elementary School is turning heads across the state and across the nation.

Garfield received the 2012 People’s Choice Architecture Award during last week’s annual conference of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association and Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration.

Julie Miller, deputy director of OSSBA, said about 20 school districts submitted designs for consideration, and conference delegates voted to determine the winner.

“We have a featured drawing of Garfield in our entryway at the OSSBA building, and that will stay in our entryway the entire school year,” Miller said.

Garfield was designed by the Stacy Group, with offices in Owasso and Edmond, as part of the Enid Public Schools 2010 bond issue.

“Garfield students absolutely love their new facility; you can see it in their smiles,” said Shawn Hime, EPS superintendent. “Community members and school employees have also sung its praises. It’s icing on the cake to know that it is now considered Oklahoma’s best-designed new school.”

Garfield, built to serve 650 students, features a pod design that provides common learning spaces for students and teachers to use. Its design highlights student-friendly colors, along with stars and other fun shapes.

“‘Our Stars Shine Bright’ is the motto celebrating the students of the new Garfield Elementary,” said Sean Willis, studio director at the Stacy Group office in Edmond. “The interior of the school takes design cues from the nearby Air Force base with features depicting flight. The classroom pods each have their own identity and celebrate the ideas of pride, excellence, success, honest, kind and respect.

“The design also includes details for the students to learn about the school’s place locally and in the United States. The use of these design elements help with way-finding and allow for each grade level to have its own identity.”

“The creative design is the first element of the building you notice,” Hime said. “The functionality is impressive as well. First and foremost, it is a school for learning, and the architects did an outstanding job ensuring it would meet our needs.”

In addition, Garfield will be featured as an “Outstanding Design” on the pages of a national magazine highlighting school architecture.

It is one of 148 schools that will be profiled in November’s Architectural Portfolio issue of American School & University and featured online at SchoolDesigns.com.�

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