Bond Projects Expose Students to New Careers & Trades
Thousands of Beaverton School District students are benefitting from the 2014 Bond Program through new schools, technology, repairs and improvements. What you may not realize, is that they are also being exposed to many careers and trades surrounding the construction industry.
A perfect example of this collaboration is the partnership between Five Oaks Middle School and Bassetti Architects, the firm designing the modernization of the middle school. Architects are teaching monthly workshops to students in the school's Opportunity YOU after-school program, free of charge. In addition, the student feedback from the workshops will be used to inform the design of some of the new spaces in the school. "A huge part of how our buildings are designed is based on the culture of the people using the buildings. It is really important to us that our design adapts to the people who use it," says Bassetti Marketing Director Julie Flattery.
"We were at a meeting with Bassetti and we had talked about our after-school program. So I asked one of the architects if they would like to do a class with the kids in our after-school program," says Five Oaks Principal Shirley Brock. The architects agreed. "They really want this to be a student-friendly, staff-friendly place," says Brock.
The architects at Bassetti went to work, designing workshop concepts and activities, with school administrators providing feedback. "Each workshop is organized so that it builds upon the previous one," says Bassetti Senior Associate Joe Echeverri.
The monthly workshops run from January through May. The first workshop was a photo scavenger hunt and space activity. Using provided iPads, student groups tried to find and take pictures of architectural elements within the school. They also described a social space and personal space that they liked and disliked within the school. "One of the things we are trying to get across to students is why architecture is important. When they think about how spaces make them feel, it makes it a more relatable topic. It's less about a building and more about how it influences your day," says Flattery.
Future workshops include describing a space using the five senses, a field trip to explore how architecture represents or could represent personal culture and a collage that shows the spirit of Five Oaks. "It's early enough that their input will help influence the design as we move into the next phase," says Echeverri. An art piece will eventually be donated to the school as an installation in the final design.