Cordogan, Clark & Associates and Architecture for Education teamed as creative collaborators with the West Aurora School District for their new Greenman Elementary School. Greenman is a new replacement school for an existing 107-year old building that could no longer support growing enrollments, new technological advances, and today's teaching curriculums. The design team was able to overcome the tight urban site and more than double the size of the old school, allowing it to remain an anchor in the neighborhood. "Even though we're twice as big, we wanted to maintain that small-community environment" said Principal Erin Slater.
The "school within a school" design concept of Greenman Elementary embraces personalized instruction and team teaching. The classrooms are organized into clusters. These form small learning communities of four classrooms, two technology/resource centers, and a flexible learning corridor. Each cluster can accommodate individual rooms or transform into a larger space for team teaching. Within each classroom there are bay windows with seating, shared restrooms and "learning walls;" custom, flexible, and adaptable millwork that can conform to each teacher and students' needs.
In 2006, Greenman Elementary was selected as the Grand Prize Winner of the Exhibition of School Architecture award by the National School Board Association." The jury found this project exemplary on all levels. The architecture enriches the learning environment, enhances the education program, and complements, without mimicry, the urban/residential fabric of the neighborhood. It also provides a strong connection to the community through several outreach partnerships." In addition to this award, Greenman Elementary School has received the Illinois Association of School Boards Award of Distinction for Excellence in the Design of Educational Environments, the Impact on Learning Effective Classroom Design Award, the Learning By Design National Grand Prize, and many more.