RiverEast K-8 Special Education Center Relocation
Saint Paul Public Schools
At the first new school for Saint Paul Public Schools in 20 years, BWBR planned and designed RiverEast to provide a therapeutic, supportive, and safe educational environment for K-8 students in the federal level 4 Individual Education Program. Through carefully selected design elements, the adapted industrial-building-turned-school prepares students to rejoin their community schools with the social, behavioral, and academic tools needed to succeed.
The building is organized around learning communities that house calming classrooms and specialized spaces that promote a healing learning environment. Each learning community features break out rooms to provide space for therapy and individual learning, along with small group rooms to support community and cooperation. Markerboards for graffiti art as well as exterior play and green space encourage students to freely express themselves.
BWBR’s Human-Centered Safety® focus put the needs of students and teachers at the center of the design. Secure access into the facility and to internal learning communities are elegantly integrated to allow learning to shine over security. Spaces are layered from classroom to community room to hallways that give staff levels of intervention for students who need to regain control of their bodies and minds. Durable and flexible furnishings allow the spaces to adapt to the needs of staff and students and eliminate the rigidity that could challenge this unique population.
Additional Team Members
Brian Buchholz (retired)
Principal, Senior Vice President
Steve Erickson (retired)
Jeff Griesinger (retired)
Ron Laughlin (retired)
Senior Project Architect
80,000 sq. ft. renovation; 35,000 sq. ft. new construction
Intuitive entrance and pathways; large, dedicated spaces for each learning community, such as calming rooms, sensory rooms, and learning spaces; strategically placed mechanical and lighting systems to limit audio and visual distractions; specialized spaces for arts, life skills, media center, school store, gym, and indoor play; dedicated playground for students
August 11, 2023
The built environment is accountable for a substantial 40% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
February 14, 2022
Although we have seen many challenges over the past 23 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed opportunities to re-envision how and where we teach and learn.
June 8, 2021
Back in 2013, Hanna Kuehl, CID, LEED AP, Steve Berg, AIA, and the team at BWBR were given a brand-new...
October 12, 2020
Learning space design, approached from a holistic perspective, takes into account the spectrum of learning activities and the variety of...
August 7, 2020
A nationally registered historic lab and classroom facility at Carroll University has earned LEED® certification, making it the second campus...
September 1, 2019
Karner Blue Education Center started with a clean slate and an aim to design a school unlike traditional elementary schools....