Harrisburg Adventure Elementary School

Harrisburg, South Dakota

Harrisburg School District opened their 10th building in the Fall of 2021. This new K-5th grade elementary school was designed to be more collaborative and community-inspired than buildings previously building in the district. The new home to the Tigers accommodates the rapid growth occurring within the district. Overall, the configuration of the elementary implements key planning strategies, and maximizes flexibility in a way that allows for future realignment of cross-age learning.

Support for Cross Age Learning The building is made up of four self-contained communities comprised of classrooms for kindergarten through 5th grade classes around a common flexible learning commons. This arrangement gives students a chance to intermingle with and learn from peers of all ages in a more comfortable setting. The District has found cross-age learning to be beneficial for development and equality, especially within the lower grades where mentorship and behavioral modeling is more impactful. Each of Adventure’s smaller communities are designed to meet the needs of 150 students with its own set of restrooms, collaborative areas, support space, and student support spaces.

Tiger Reserve Two of the building’s communities were designed to accommodate the needs of the District’s Tiger Reserve program. The program had previously been housed in several buildings across the district, creating inefficiencies and challenges in terms of space and programming. Adventure Elementary brings together all the staff and students within the program to one location, creating more efficient use of space and resources.

Building Flow Special consideration was given to how students enter and exit their communities at the beginning and end of their day. With students coming from the playground, locker areas were positioned to be the first point of arrival, creating a seamless flow from outside to inside.