Longfellow Elementary School
ClientMarion Independent School District
Faced with an aging facility in Emerson Elementary, Marion Independent School District decided to close the historic school. To accommodate the students displaced by the closing of Emerson, the district repurchased the former Longfellow Elementary—used most recently by the local community college—demolished the building and rebuilt a new elementary school in its place.
The new school serves preschool through second grade—three sections each—for the growing, landlocked district. The simple design emulates the exterior of the other district schools. All brick, a pattern of red and gold stripes recall the high school’s façade as well as the district’s school colors. Red doors at the front entry similarly reflect district pride while adding a punch of color.
The t-shaped building faces south, with the gym located to the west of entry, which is separates the main office from the music and art rooms. Two wings of classrooms form the T’s cross. The media center is located at the heart of the academic wing. Serving dual purposes, the gym is more aptly called a cafetorium, with a full serving kitchen. The gym is supplemented by a fitness center with treadmills, bikes and other fitness equipment for student use.
A first for the district, the preschool and kindergarten rooms are also a storm shelter large enough to accommodate the school’s entire population. Built to current international building code standards, the walls are 12-inch thick blocks with fully grouted cores and the roof a 14-inch thick concrete slab. All windows are rated to sustain tornado-rated winds.