Ryan Middle School showcases renovation improvements

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Heather Stewart; Principal, Ryan Middle School >> "I'll start here with the front office. The office was designed this way so that after students come in and our day starts, all traffic has to come through this area. All other exterior doors are locked and those double doors there are locked and we did that intentionally so that the secretaries and the adults could screen anybody coming into our building.
And so this is the common area. The common area we use for breakfast and lunch. We also use it for socials. The beautiful northern lights wall is our library and again the doors open up into the common area so that students can work out here in the common area as well as in the library.
And again our library, all the furniture in the library is designed so that it can, that it's on wheels so that it can be reorganized to meet the needs of particular classes that are coming in here or groups of students.
The upstairs and downstairs classroom areas are identical in that they have two sets of classes that open up to each other and open up to what we call the classroom common area, so these two classes here would open up to each other and then they can open up to this area, so that students can be working out in the common area while the teacher is maybe working with a group of students in the classroom. We have our two science classrooms and then another two sets of classrooms connected to each other and again open to the common area.
And so the students are working out here in small groups and they're also working in this student support area.
I do want to show you the upstairs library.
So this is our library study is what we call it. You can't get to it from inside the library but it's another space where teachers can request to check out this space for doing research and the librarians can then gather books on a cart, bring them up here.
The big thing about the gym was when we dedicated the building, we dedicated the gym to Coach Dickey. He was a long time Fairbanks resident, custodian here, basketball coach, and mentor to a lot of students and at the time we dedicated the building, we also dedicated the gym.
My very first year as principal, was when we started the design process and so I got to go through that design process and then we went through the whole workshops where we looked at different footprints of the building and planning processes and right down to the colors and the fabrics and the furniture and the team that I worked with were amazing and I think our school is a picture of the goals of meeting the needs of our students, flexible spaces, supervision and security."