A Welcoming Space for Every Young Face

Created to replace a building that was past its prime, the new Thompson Elementary School building offers a comfortable yet stimulating environment for its young students.


In addition, the school’s gymnasium is nontraditional, and is used as a multipurpose space. The floor is made out of recycled rubber, which minimizes the impact on students’ feet and joints as they participate in athletics and other activities. The uniqueness of the floor extends to its design details, which contains the alphabet, a range of numbers, and a variety of shapes—including another pineapple.

The kindergarten and first grade classrooms on the ground floor include another unique and multipurpose space. Each room opens out to a patio, allowing the classrooms to extend their space to the outdoors on beautiful, New England days.

“We created outdoor space for them with some plantings and a very distinct kind of wood bench,” Cowles explained. “The bench acts as a place to sit, but also as a screen or framework for that outdoor space.”

Whether in the classroom, a common space, or walking from one room to another, the careful use of bright colors, ample windows, and lighting—both natural and artificial—creates a whimsical and stimulating, yet comfortable environment that engages students and nurtures their creativity.

“The school is bright and happy, and I do think it contributes to the overall mood in the building,” said Halley. “It is a very happy place; I believe the colors and the flexible design features really help make it a school students are eager to come to and are proud of.”

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