Bellwood Elementary School

Addition and Renovation

Bellwood Elementary School (d)evolved from a state of the art school for the 1960's into a disparate network of separate communities, disconnected places, and temporary modular learning spaces through its "addition by addition" expansion to meet growing educational program needs and enrollment. BCWH was engaged to design an addition and renovation that would provide clarity of place and continuity of spaces within in the elementary school.

The new addition to Bellwood Elementary relocated the front door of the school while adding over 16,000 SF of new classrooms and administration spaces. The new energy-saving double vestibule front door allows for office staff to have panoramic views of parents, children, and visitors the time they enter the site to the time they park in the newly expanded parking areas. The eight new classrooms are well-equipped with built in storage and instructional support features, including interactive boards. An enclosed connector corridor was also added to increase circulation flow between the front and back areas of the school, while creating a secure outdoor courtyard. BCWH also addressed traffic flow issues by creating separate bus and public traffic access locations. A unique aspect to Bellwood is the addition of a new "Trombe" or thermal wall. This wall will collect solar energy to help heat the space in the winter and be shaded in the summer, while using a simple ventilation system.