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Spokane Schools Embrace Modernfold Walls for Pod-Based Learning and Bespoke Curriculum

Posted on Nov 29, 2023

Modernfold distributor Dupree Building Specialties partnered with Public School District 81 in Spokane, Washington to revitalize their local schools. The district, which is now comprised of seven high schools, six middle schools, and 34 elementary schools, received voter approval in 2018 for a $553 million bond to renovate. The approval permitted the construction of three new middle schools and the complete replacement of three aging middle schools, all aimed at creating a more flexible learning environment for students.

The school district soon set in motion the hiring of architects and publicly posting packages for bid.  Selected contractors were required to further advance the design concept that prioritized pod-based learning so that classrooms could serve as individual spaces and have the ability to open into a communal environment.  The concept even allowed for full wings of the school to be opened for collaborative lessons, joint-homeroom discussions, projects, and student events.  It was also important that all design elements helped bring the stunning views of the surrounding evergreens and rolling hills of their community into the classrooms. 

Dupree Building Specialties looked at each of the six schools as a unique opportunity to exceed at meeting the project briefs and serve as true partners in the entire design process. During design planning, Dupree advised that the Pauline Flett Middle School utilize window cut outs in operable walls to allow external light to filter into the classroom even when the walls were deployed.  For budgeting, Dupree’s  product knowledge allowed for significant cost savings at the Sacajawea Middle School where very large, glass movable walls were required.  Post-installation, Dupree Building Specialties was able to guarantee their service and maintenance availability being local to the community.

Carla Olman Peperzak Middle School was the last of the six schools completed.  Integrus Architecture and Garco Construction worked in partnership with Dupree Building Specialties to install 24 Modernfold Acousti-Clear® paired panel walls with 45 STC and clear anodized frames to match the adjacent windows.  Additionally, 14 Modernfold Acousti-Seal® Premier® 50 STC paired panels covered in a naturalist color pallet of vinyl, natural choice trim, and markerboard were elected as well.

In total, 241 Modernfold movable walls were installed throughout the six middle schools in Spokane.  Glass Acousti-Clear® walls were elected for classroom frontages and Acousti-Seal® served as perfect interior dividers. 

As teachers and students filed into their new classrooms, responses have been extremely positive.  Educators are enjoying the light and expansive views and are excited to incorporate greater levels of collaboration into their curriculum thanks to the Modernfold operable walls.