Location: Howard, WI
Client: Bay View Middle School
Consultants: Lynne Gruneberg, Demco Interior Solutions Consultant
Population Served: about 800 students
Completion Date: Fall 2018
The staff at Bay View Middle School in Howard, Wisconsin, was ready to bring their outdated library into the 21st century. They knew they needed to redesign the layout and create spaces where multiple modes of learning, exploration, discovery, and creation could take place.
The overall goal, said Kara Bunkelman, Technology Integration Specialist, was to have a “space for middle school students where they could control their own learning and have access and exposure to a variety of materials and resources.”
Creating the New Library
Demco helped staff meet their objectives by redesigning the middle school’s large library space to incorporate a literacy lounge for quiet reading, a small-group breakout area, and a large-group learning space.
To create multifunctional spaces throughout the library, the design team brought in ultraflexible Kite tables and paired them with stacking chairs. Staff or students can easily rearrange the tables for any size group and can even fold, nest, and roll the tables out of the way when they need to quickly open up the space for different activities. Interchange™ multimedia tables also provide space for small groups to collaborate and view projects on-screen.
Modular soft seating arranged strategically throughout the library helps create quiet spaces for reading, as well as comfortable places for students to relax, study, and collaborate. Multipurpose side tables scattered throughout double as handy laptop surfaces when flipped, allowing students to work anywhere they feel comfortable.
Building the Innovation Studio
The staff at Bay View also had a vision for creating a collaborative makerspace area by renovating an outdated computer lab and another classroom that sat adjacent to the library. The combined rooms now house the Innovation Studio, which serves as an extension of the library and provides a space for hands-on making and creativity.
To make it easy for students to work together in the new makerspace, the Demco team included crescent-shaped mobile Kite tables that can quickly be rearranged to accommodate any size group and provide surfaces for working with low-tech making, robotics, and circuitry. Multimedia tables line the back wall and allow students to share their work digitally with each other, while a large glass markerboard, along with individual magnetic markerboards, lines one wall and invites students to ideate and share ideas.
Sturdy Planner™ Studio Tables with rugged butcher block tops complemented by industrial metal stool seating allow for heavy-duty making activities. A Community Reef Table lines the wall to provide an additional work surface, and mobile, lockable storage cabinets help keep all the supplies organized as students take on design challenges using a wide variety of maker tools.
“The wide range of products that Demco offers was pivotal to our design process,” said Bunkelman. “Demco’s knowledge and experience designing school libraries and makerspaces made our vision quickly come to life in the project plans.”
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Experiencing the Learning Outcomes
The new Innovation Studio is an environment “rich with possibilities, where we can showcase student work,” said Bunkelman. “It allows learners to be engaged in critical thinking, collaboration, and authentic, real-world problem-solving opportunities.”
Staff, students, and community members have all expressed excitement about the new, innovative spaces. They love the ease with which they can now collaborate and appreciate that there are designated spaces to meet the varying learning needs of students.
The space has also become a showcase for what leaders want other spaces in their district to look like. Along with hosting workshops and meetings in the space, the middle school has also entertained site visits from other districts who want to model their spaces on the same concepts.