A joint venture with A.P. Construction
Designed by SLAM, the new Ox Ridge Elementary School provides an inspirational place of learning for over 700 students in grades K-5 and Darien’s district-wide Early Learning Program. The new school allows for future expansion to accommodate enrollment growth and flexibility in programmatic uses for various learning methods.
As construction manager, O&G Industries safely kept the original Ox Ridge school operational and occupied while the new building was under construction on the same 10-acre site. The phased approach consisted of constructing the Academic Wing as Phase 1 (which opened for the 2022-23 school year), followed by the Assembly Wing as Phase 2, completed for this school year. This wing consists of the media center, music rooms, cafeteria, and kitchen. A new playground and ballfield were also installed.
The rectangular donut-shaped design of the academic wing embraces the change in elevation within that area of the site, placing the single-story Early Learning Program on the higher elevation, with the connecting two-story K-5 classroom wing opposite. The central two-level courtyard navigates the grade change between the two halves of the donut and serves as the primary organizing element for the building. The courtyard features an amphitheater and a variety of outdoor learning spaces, including a “birds-nest” for small group reading or quiet reflection.
Inside the K-5 wing, grade levels are organized into neighborhoods, each containing four classrooms and their own individual Learning Commons. The Learning Commons activates the corridor into an engaging “learning beyond the classroom” environment for students to interact with their peers and teachers.