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  Martin Van Buren Elementary School, Page 42Martin Van Buren Elementary School 
Architectural Design Group, INC.
116 East Sheridan, #100, Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Total Square Feet:
Construction Period:
Apr 1999 to Dec 2000

Construction Team
General Contractor: J.W. Skaggs Construction Company, Inc. - 17 N.E. 27th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Structural Engineer: Sturm Engineering - One N.W. 64th, #A, Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Darr & Collins, L.L.C. - 3232 W. Britton Road, #277, Oklahoma City, OK 73120
Cost Estimator: Pre-Construction Services, Inc. - 2512 West I-44 Service Road, Oklahoma City, OK 73112

Architectural Design Group, Inc. designed a new elementary school for one of Oklahoma City’s southern neighborhoods. The new school, named in honor of the country’s eighth President, as well as the school that had occupied the site years before, was completed in Fall 2000. The new school occupies an entire small residential block, including the playground and parking. The building provides a learning environment for 350 students, preschool through fifth grade.
Initial design goals have been fulfilled: the building incorporates primary colors and basic geometric shapes on the inside and out to create a fun, bright place to learn and grow.
The school has become an example of what stretching creativity to meet a budget can accomplish. The building employs durable, commonplace building materials like brick and concrete block, aluminum windows and sealed concrete columns in standard sizes. The result is anything but ordinary! 
The symbolic bell tower on the northeast corner of the site creates a recognizable landmark in this quaint neighborhood. The site is ringed with small one-story homes, some no more than 600 square feet. From the start the design for the new school was kept low and compact so as not to overpower everything on the surrounding block. 
Much had to be squeezed onto three acres, and there was no additional land available for parking or playfields. The new school building contains 19 classrooms and special classrooms for art, music and special education. The facility also houses a media center with a computer lab, and a cafetorium with a stage. 
Interior materials are standard, but striking as well. Color makes the impact here, at the main entrance and throughout. Custom patterned VCT floors, two alphabet block columns and bright yellow tile benches integrated into the curving library wall at the entrance establish a sense of fun and cheer right from the start. A skylight that spans from the entrance hall into the media center floods the area with daylight. 
The bright hallways are scored and painted CMU, but color coordinated pediments and tile “welcome mats” in the classroom hallways guide students to “their classrooms”. Hallway bulletin boards for each class further enliven the space. There is a sense of ownership and belonging created in “my door”, “my classroom”, and “our school”. Martin Van Buren Elementary has generated a sense of pride throughout its neighborhood and its community. 
Oklahoma City voters passed a capital improvement program that renovates, moves or replaces almost all of the 79 schools within district boundaries over the course of the next ten years. This will cost taxpayers nearly $520 million. The only building that won’t be touched is Van Buren Elementary. Architectural Design Group is part of the team administering all the projects in the city/school board mandate called “OCMAPS - Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Public Schools”.

DIV 07: Roofing: Siplast; Sealants: Sonneborn; EIFS: Senergy.
DIV 08: Aluminum Windows: Peerless.
DIV 09: Acoustical Ceiling: USG; Ceiling Grid: Chicago Metallic; Grout: Mapei; Vinyl Flooring: Armstrong.
DIV 16: Fixtures: Hubbell, Corelite; Panel Boards & Enclosed Switches: Siemens.

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