Hanscom Primary School: A Modern Educational Landscape

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Cairone & Kaupp, Inc. (CKI) is proud to be partnering with EwingCole to design multiple new schools at military bases along the East Coast. These designs explore modern concepts such as 21st Century Learning, Natural Play and Outdoor Learning to help create engaging educational landscapes.

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The new Hanscom Primary School at Hanscom Airforce Base, MA will be replacing the existing school, located along the Shawsheen River in northeastern Massachusetts. The goal of the landscape design is to create connection opportunities for outdoor learning spaces. Ultimately, this will achieve a seamless connection between the indoor spaces and the outdoor environment. The design includes play areas for Pre-K school, Kindergarten/1st Grade, and 2nd through 5th Grade age children. Along with modular play structures, each area offers outdoor classroom spaces so teachers and students can take the lesson plan outside.

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Interpretive native plantings visually tie the site into the surrounding landscape and, along with a deck overlooking nearby wetlands, provide an opportunity for hands-on science lessons. Tree plantings along the street will supplement the existing woodland vegetation, consisting of native oaks, black gum, and maples, to reestablish a forested buffer between the school and the street. The military base context presents unique challenges, especially in providing Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection. The planting design around the school intends to minimize potential concealment of a 6” x 6” package by using low groundcovers and single-stem trees. The design portion of the project will be concluding in summer 2014 and construction will begin summer 2015.