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Yesterday I was privileged to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony of the brand new Henderson-Hopkins Partnership School, a truly innovative K to 8 & Early Childhood Center public school — over eight years in the making.  TerraLogos: eco architecture served as the Green Building coordinator and led the design team to integrate many of the sustainability features that were seminal to the project.  It is the first elementary school in the city to be awarded a Baltimore City Green Building Standards 3-Star rating LEED Silver equivalent).

Designed by Rogers Marvel Architects (NYC), the school is organized around beautifully designed outdoor learning spaces and courtyards (Floura Teeter Landscape Architects) and indoor flex/gathering and alternative learning centers that allow the grade-level clusters to flow seamlessly between indoor and outdoor spaces.

There is much to be learned from this school as Baltimore City embarks on the total reinvention of our public schools in the 21st Century School Initiative.  The school is flooded with a glowing natural daylight (Glenn Shrum Lighting Designer) that is so integrated to the design that you feel great just walking  through the spaces, not to mention the delight one must experience while actually learning in them.  The insulated precast concrete system enabled a remarkably fast construction of the school, while forming a handsome, appropriately scaled exterior finish and the durable interior finish.

Everyone was there celebrating this remarkable project — from Governor O’Malley to the Mayor and City Council members; two University presidents (Hopkins and Morgan State); Senator Mikulski and Congressman Cummings; state representatives and school board leaders, all expressed such gratitude that a school in this East Baltimore neighborhood would turn out so well and with such a commitment to the education for many generations of students.

Most importantly, it was the faces of the children that struck me, filled with hope and shining (literally) with promise.  Their faces expressed a determination to learn and to do their very best because HHPS will serve as a new beginning and a new way of learning as they grow into full-fledged citizens of our increasingly small world.

Go check it out, come and see what design, dedication, and commitment to a better future can create and then go and do likewise in your community.    http://hendersonhopkins.org/K-8/

If you would like to learn more about TerraLogos or our participation on this project please get in touch with us at 410-276-8519 or kims@terralogos.com.

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