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Ida Freeman Elementary Media Center and Storm Shelter Addition

Edmond, OK

Education, Storm Shelter, Interior Design

The new media center/storm shelter addition at Ida Freeman Elementary was designed to foster a life-long culture of reading. Core to the design of the new media center, this theme also fulfills the school’s desire to pay tribute to Ida Freeman and the years she spent reading with children as an educator with Edmond area schools. The interior is colorful and flexible, encouraging students to discover literature in an engaging way.

Oklahoma’s weather can be both unpredictable and severe, often requiring students to seek shelter. The new media center doubles as a 665-capacity storm shelter, offering students a safe place during severe weather. The design team set out to create a learning space that would be as attractive as it is structurally sound. During mild weather conditions, south-facing FEMA-compliant metal coiling doors remain up and out of sight, allowing natural light to fill the space during the day. Support columns were creatively disguised as a book spine feature at the center of the room. This accent softens two centrally located columns, and draws attention to the library’s circulation desk beneath.

The interior, designed to engage children’s lively imaginations, uses color to draw students in, while simultaneously creating teaching moments. A wall depicting an open book allows staff to curate book of the month displays and welcomes students into the imaginative world of reading. Soft seating and mobile furniture throughout allows the space to serve a multitude of functions. The sculpted “READ” wall encourages students to cozy up with a book and a learning stair in an opposite corner supports mini lessons where students can sprawl out on the multi-level platforms. Keeping true to the school’s mission, the design of the new media center aims to prepare students for lifelong learning inside and outside of the classroom.

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