Belle Ryan Elementary School

Omaha Public Schools

Omaha, NE

2017 Completion

$15.5 Million

BCDM collaborated with Belle Ryan’s Educational Specification Committee to design a new facility that would be a “future ready” school that presents a new identity to the community as well as cutting-edge, collaborative learning environments for students.

The site presented the first challenge; the steep slope and small footprint allowed for a split-level school and provided the opportunity for a two-entrance solution that separates and alleviates morning and afternoon traffic.  The main entrance services the parent drop-off with the lower entrance servicing the bus drop-off.  The two entrances are tied together with a large learning stair that activates the space and offers informal learning opportunities.  This dynamic double-volume space serves as the heart of the school and allows for a sense of openness and connection between floor and rooms.

The classroom wing was set at an angle in reference to the main building entrance to give the entry a greater presence from 60th Street.  Belle Ryan features a STEM Lab that focuses and promotes science, technology, engineering and math for young minds.  The classroom fenestration and use of different brick colors convey a dynamic approach to the design of the building.