Ashland Park-Robbins Elementary School
The Omaha Public School District desired to close two existing schools, Ashland Park and Robbins, and to create a new facility to house the students from both areas. This was to be a new concept for the District, since they had never attempted to operate two separate schools within one facility. The combined concept was also to include two Principals.
As Project Architect for Astle/Ericson & Associates, Dan Reinhardt was an integral part of the team coordinating the work of the project. He worked along with the firm’s Principal to help the Educational Specifications Committee in establishing the program information for this new school concept. The Ed Spec process was time consuming as various teachers, specialists, and administrators were interviewed and provided input regarding the project. From the extensive interviews, it was determined that the school should be divided, with K-2 separated from 3-5 with the shared amenities (cafeteria, gymnasium, and library) accessible to both.
The severe slope of the site was also a major factor in the planning of this new facility. With a total site of approximately 10 acres, the elevation change was a drastic 70 feet from NW to SE corners.
A simple structural system was designed of concrete columns and two-way slabs featuring six “pods”, which were stacked and stepped down the hill overlapping as the grade sloped down. A stair and elevator tower is central to each set of overlapping pods. Each pod contained six to nine classrooms, for a total of forty-four classrooms.