Trailside Academy P-8 School

Trailside Academy P-8 school merges creativity, warmth, and energy into this Expeditionary Learning school for 488 students. The 67,000-square-foot school is organized around four learning communities (grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8), each with individual classrooms and its own centralized commons space. The Early Childhood wing is separate to the east with its own entry.

Trailside’s five-acre site is very small and necessitated creative planning. The undulating building form opens to a park on the west of the site and nestles the playground at the front entry. The park feels almost part of the building with this arrangement. In contrast to the curvilinear south facade, the building is very linear on the north, relating well to the urban context of its neighborhood.


CLIENT: Mapleton Public Schools
SCOPE: 67,000 SF
COST: $19.8 Million

Trailside is organized very efficiently and each space is sized optimally. Spaces feel comfortable and welcoming with various seating options. Warm materials and bright colors bring energy and warmth.

Visual transparency is used both vertically and horizontally; it is illustrated through features like the second story overlook into the commons and media spaces, as well as from one classroom into the next. Exterior windows enable transparency from the interior commons into exterior play spaces.

Transparent garage doors separate the Dining Commons from the gym for flexibility during events. Music and Art are visually showcased; both have a studio feel with expanses of glass opening to the commons.

Geometric and rectangular patterns are found on the walls and glass, inside and out. Cutout seating in the Learning Commons resembles a comfortable fireplace nook. The Early Childhood Activity Center features a wood wall with large orb cutouts inviting kids to sit and play in a unique, personalized space.   

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