Rochester, New York
In 2011, EDR was retained by the Rochester City School District to work on site designs for the Enrico Fermi School 17 as part of the Rochester Schools Modernization Program, a three-phase capital initiative of the district in partnership with the City. The priority for the design of the play environment was to embed learning opportunities within a sustainable and dynamic environment. The site design features green infrastructure elements including pervious concrete pavement and a small bio-swale area. Native plants throughout the site provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and insects, helping the students gain an understanding of natural systems through first hand experiences. Interpretive elements within the green spaces help to educate students regarding the balance and connectivity of the ecosystems that surround them. Deciduous trees provide micro climate and shade for the play area and help intercept precipitation. The large playground area, with its poured-in-place resilient surface, incorporates several learning components such as a butterfly climbing feature surrounded by a “butterfly” garden, benches with “bugs”, and an “ABC’s” climbing wall. The invaluable input of school staff members helped to shape our design, which incorporates the concept of learning while playing.