Montgomery County Public Schools
87,000 sf, 754 students
Evolving the prototype, Snowden Farm ES is a neighborhood hub located in the heart of the growing Clarksburg community. The fifth version of this LEED Gold elementary school prototype design within the MCPS master plan — each version has evolved to fit the community it serves, latest technology, and current learning pedagogies. Snowden Farm ES is tracking Green Globes certification and IgCC requirements for sustainable design.
The school was named after Thomas Snowden, a community-oriented dairy farmer, whose land on which the school is built. The building features a variety of instructional spaces organized around an outdoor courtyard inspired by the local watershed and nearby Sugarloaf Mountain.
The light-filled, colorful classrooms include a Boxlight interactive panel, which, combined with individual Chromebooks, gives students the opportunity to learn through one-to-one technology. These features, combined with flexible furniture reconfigurable for project-based learning and varied groupings, increase student engagement.
Bright colors, circular lights, and hexagonal acoustical wall panels provide wayfinding, visual interest, and give students vocabulary for describing the world around them. The school and the surrounding site serve as interactive teaching tools for the students, telling their story through signage illustrating the green features: geothermal wells, extensive green roof, sustainable materials, and water-saving plumbing fixtures.
Great Seneca Creek ES and Little Bennett ES were the first two iterations of the new LEED Gold prototype school with enclosed courtyard. William B.Gibbs, Jr. ES, Wilson Wims ES, Snowden Farm ES, and currently in design, Clarksburg ES 9 followed suit. Each design improved the prototype: LED lighting, more efficient geothermal systems, vegetative roofs, optimized insulation envelope, better acoustical controls, etc. Clarksburg ES 9 is tracking Green Globes Certification and IgCC requirements in lieu of LEED.
The centralized Media Center features the very first makerspace in any of MCPS’s elementary schools, giving students a beloved, hands-on space to tinker and explore.