DeForest Area School District
In 2019, DeForest Area School District (DASD) began a project to support its growing student population, which currently sits around 4,000 students. Knowing even more growth was on the horizon, they needed the flexibility to adapt to different age groups and fluctuating numbers across four schools: Yahara Elementary School, Harvest Intermediate School, DeForest Area Middle School, and DeForest Area High School. They also needed a future-focused team who could collaborate with Eppstein Uhen Architects on spatial design, selecting complementary products and finishes, and creating a cohesive aesthetic across many different spaces in multiple schools. That team was Demco.
“We selected Demco early on because of their experience in furnishing school spaces, product selection, and creative solutions. We found the Demco reps to be wonderful to work with. Their staff were attentive to our needs […] and responsive to our questions and requests. These characteristics carried through into the design process, ordering process, and final delivery and installation. “
— Kathleen Davis-Phillips, Director of Business and Auxiliary Services
Based on data from a pilot classroom, Demco was able to narrow down the furniture choices to optimize the spaces for DASD’s specific needs. Demco also partnered with a secondary supplier to better support the specific project across the four schools. Each building had unique needs, but it was important to create consistency across them all with cohesive product lines and color stories.
Inside the fully-remodeled Yahara Elementary School
Demco outfitted 17 classrooms with large-group tables and uniquely shaped desks on casters that now allow for endless reconfiguration. Mobile shelving and storage provides ample (and flexible) organizational space, and a mix of traditional seats, wobble stools, and soft seating gives students options while maintaining consistency across the district. To accommodate inevitable changes in student demographics, furnishings are height-adjustable and can be easily adapted to different age groups in the future. Existing pieces in good condition are integrated seamlessly into the new spaces, adding more options and greater functionality without stretching the budget.
At the new Harvest Intermediate School
Creative storage now supports the school’s unique flow. Demco provided furnishings in the library, makerspace, cafeteria, classrooms, specialty storage, and music spaces. The team also tackled the unique challenge of a “family room” shared by four classrooms. This shared space was an uber-accessible and high-traffic zone where students retrieve their assigned totes between subjects.
The new makerspace features a Demco FLEXplore Gear Guard™ Mobile STEM Workstation and a variety of flexible seating for different workspaces and collaboration styles.
At DeForest Middle School and High School
Demco developed a budget-friendly plan to repurpose existing mismatched furniture and add modern storage solutions for atypical subjects like CAD, FACE, and marketing with products like the Demco Mobile Storage Bench and MooreCo™ Compass Maxi Storage Cabinets. This kept the the project in line with the district’s budget while still providing much-needed organization and a more cohesive look across the buildings.
Post-implementation, DASD said that these spaces have enhanced student learning and that staff have expressed how happy they are with the flexibility, appearance, and quality.