Hollis+Miller Architects
Bell Prairie Elementary School

Bell Prairie Elementary School
Kansas City, MO

Bell Prairie Elementary joins Staley High School as the second LEED® Certified building in the North Kansas City School District and the first to be Certified LEED® Gold.  Hollis + Miller Architects led the collaborative process which included faculty, students, engineers and other consultants to design a sustainable building that supported the district’s vision and character statements.  The Building is designed to welcome visitors and showcase student success, with its light-filled main hallway lined with display cases.  The gym, cafeteria, and media center are all off this main hallway for community access in the evenings.  The classrooms are contained in two wings that can be closed off after hours for security.  The classroom wings are designed to provide a variety of teaching spaces that are well equipped for the digital learner.

Bell Prairie is designed to be a Living Learning Tool.  It will not only house desks, chairs, computers, teachers and students, but will also provide a # of flexible learning spaces where signage and building systems themselves educate students staff and visitors about their global community.  The students will give tours to visitors stopping at the 14 stations that explain the sustainable concepts the building incorporates.  At the first station a computer interface is incorporated into a larger sustainable graphic, allowing student to view real-time usage of energy for the various systems serving the building. The older students will be able to incorporate these statistics into their math curriculum, learning two concepts with one activity.  Additional stations explore the solar orientation and earth contact that helps to keep the building cool in warm weather, low-emitting materials, green cleaning and ventilation that improve the Indoor Air Quality, and innovative waste water technology.  Two of the most hands-on stations are the cistern and the roof garden.  Water from a portion of the roof is collected and stored in a cistern by the front entry.  A windmill pumps this water up to the roof level.  At the roof there is a classroom area in the midst of a modular roof top garden system.  Here the children can water the plants and see them grow, knowing that the water came from the sky and not just from the tap.  The roof area adjacent to the garden has a white reflective coating to reduce the heating load on the building, and a small section that will be of the typical black modified bitumen roofing allowing students to measure the temperature differences between white roof, dark roof, and roof garden.

86000 sq. ft.

Construction Cost:

North Kansas City School District

JE Dunn