SAN FRANCISCO—In 70 days over this summer, Town School for Boys, a leading K-8 independent school for boys, dramatically renovated nearly 20,000 square feet and opened today for the 2012-13 school year.
The redesigned sections of the building comprise Phase I of a master plan to enhance and expand the entire facility to support the 21st century educational program at Town. Completion of this phase increases both the flexibility and specialization of nearly 20,000 square feet of interior space to foster project-based initiatives as well as both informal and structured collaboration among teachers and students across grade levels.
“Boys today learn in an environment which is driven by their own processes of inquiry, collaboration, trial and error and problem solving,” said Brewster Ely, Town School’s Headmaster. “Our new facilities are designed to complement our educational program, which builds skills in order to foster and develop true life-long 21st century learners.”
To realize this program-driven master plan, Town School enlisted the San Francisco-based architecture, strategy and innovation firm MKThink, renowned for their creative work with Stanford University’s highly acclaimed d. School, widely considered the archetype for 21st century collaboration-based learning.
Highlights of the modernized facilities include an advanced multi-lab Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) center, a new Studio Arts Center, reconfigurable gathering spaces including a “Town Hall” and Commons, and many renovated classrooms. Educational features include whiteboard walls, sliding partitions and mobile furniture and technology to facilitate a wide array of project-based learning and teaching objectives.
While construction was completed at an impressive pace, the preparation was a result of a multi-year effort to align the school’s physical environment with the educators’ prescient educational vision. A long-range planning study blended qualitative and quantitative analysis of the teaching modalities and facilities scheduling and usage of the building, as well as extensive interviews and collaborative work with faculty and school leadership.
“The vision for the architecture is derived from the educational programs. For Town School this meant redesigning antiquated spaces in order to make them significant teaching tools,” said Mark Miller, MKThink CEO and founder. “While the renovation was fast, the preparation was long-term and intense. The results of this effort will be realized for years to come by generations of Town School students.”
About Town School
Founded in 1939, Town School for Boys has long been a premier independent, nonprofit, all-boys school for kindergarten through 8th grade. Located on Jackson St. in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, Town School provides high-quality social and emotional learning as a foundation of academic excellence and self-discovery.