New in our portfolio: An elementary school where everyone fits

One of three new schools in Helena, Montana, Bryant Elementary School replaces its 80-year-old predecessor, which suffered from aging infrastructure and overcrowding. The new two-story building is three times the size of the original and features an elevated sky bridge, connecting classrooms and administration areas to a community gym and music room.

Each grade level (K-5) has classrooms and common areas, linked by paint accents in a single bright color. Breakout spaces include “honeycombs” and window seats for individual work, reading, and quiet time. Adjustable lighting and plenty of natural light in the classrooms reinforce wellness.

Partnered with Mosaic Architecture, our Cushing Terrell team provided educational planning, programming and design support; interior design; and mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering. Dick Anderson Construction served as the construction contractor.

The spaces within the school are convertible with both overhanging doors and curtains that can separate learning areas for a variety of purposes, as well as movable furniture throughout. 
Stepped window seats add a unique element, perfect for reading. 
Cozy “honeycomb” seats provide an aspect of privacy and comfort for quiet times. 
Bryant Elementary teacher Kathy Canevaro says: “I love how gorgeous and bright the new space is.”
Designed to span the city’s primary water main, the sky bridge also creates a unique area for seating areas within and for outdoor activities and green space beneath. 
The gym, stage, and music room are fully outfitted to serve not only student activities, but also community events. 
The sleek sky bridge was a practical solution to existing water infrastructure and also creates visual interest and places for discovery.