August 3, 2019

Hollis + Miller Architects is rolling up their sleeves and digging in with their own two hands to build a signature outdoor classroom for New Trails
Early Childhood Center and Blue Ridge Elementary School, designed and built as a gift to Raytown School District as part of their Learnscape initiative.

Hollis + Miller’s Learnscape program is an annual philanthropic effort to design and build an outdoor learning environment for a Kansas City metro-area school district.

“Build Day is always an exciting time for our Hollis + Miller family, getting everyone out of the office to work together on something a little different than our day to day,” Partner Keegan Jackson said. “It allows us to see firsthand the impact this project will have on the students, and the excitement surrounding a space we think they’re really going to love.”

Raytown School District members and Hollis + Miller representatives hosted several collaboration exercises to connect with early learners’ mindsets and identify the goals of the space. This helped determine four guiding words for the design; destination, exploration, perspective and journey.

Previous Learnscapes have been tailored to elementary through high school students, this is the first Pre-K outdoor classroom the firm has designed. The outdoor space is meant to be flexible to fit all learning styles, because of this, scale and accessibility played a significant role in the design, as each student’s needs differ from another.

On August 8th and 9th, all 100+ Hollis + Miller team members will lend a hand to the build effort, under the leadership of our emerging professionals who are responsible for the design and plan of Learnscape.

The Learnscape program began in 2013 as an opportunity for Hollis + Miller to combine its expertise as an architecture firm dedicated to designing innovative learning environments and its passion for the community in a way that can make a difference. Previously, the firm has designed and built outdoor classrooms for the Olathe, Blue Springs, North Kansas City, Shawnee Mission and Grain Valley school districts.