Milwaukee Public Schools – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary Addition

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As part of the Milwaukee Public Schools Neighborhood Schools Initiative, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School was created as an African-American Immersion program; focused on the history and culture of African-Americans. Located in an urban neighborhood, a pre-existing elementary school was chosen for the program, student enrollment was increased to include 6th, 7th & 8th grades and the existing building was renovated and expanded to accommodate the changes.  The addition includes a new gymnasium, library, computer lab, science, and art rooms along with nine additional classrooms and administration areas as well as site improvements.  Working to integrate the addition with the historic early 20th century school building involved both form and functional challenges.  Technical issues included fire separations, ADA compliant circulation and sound control.  Formally, the addition is understated and defers to the historic original structure, while classroom space settings provided larger scaled, brighter and more durable environments for older students.  American Design managed the production of ceramic art wall tiles, depicting African symbols, that were created by students and installed along the corridors of the new addition.  American Design has also proudly participated as a leadership mentor in Dr. MLK, Jr. School’s Annual African-American Male Teach-In.

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