Delaware Elementary is the main hub for Springfield Public Schools’ Special Education (SPED) department, so key design goals were to make this update inclusive and playful while answering SPED students’ unique needs. The structure comprises grade-level wings, each with its own flex space and integrated SPED areas. Clerestory along the length of each section and the commons brings daylight to the entire facility, and brick exteriors with canopies at the entrances deliver a distinctive look that integrates well with the character of the neighborhood.
Calming watercolors and playful wayfinding elements are compatible with the sensory requirements of SPED students. Color-changing lights help establish calming moods or supportive lighting for changing student needs. The school’s gymnasium is also designed to serve as a storm shelter.