P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School

This laboratory school will be used to expand our teaching practices – we want to vigorously test outcomes of new ways of teaching and learning.

In a unique public school district of one, P.K. Yonge is also a department of the College of Education of the University of Florida. As its name implies, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School is a laboratory school and is a leader in school-embedded educational research in the state of Florida. Through the school’s collaboration with the University of Florida, multiple resources are available from the School of Education as well as other University offices to support the school’s vision.

“Collaborating to meet the needs of each child” is the driving force of the school and is integral to all school programs. This new build school replaces a cramped smaller building on site, and the new building needed to be an exemplar of innovative best practices.

Fielding designed the ground level of the elementary school for two small learning communities (SLCs): Kindergarten & 1st grade (east wing) and Grades 2nd & 3rd (west wing). The Main Entrance is located in the middle of the building, connecting the two SLCs with a Cafe Commons area. The entrance is welcoming and open with views of the outdoor deck space and creek to the south. Part of the area is open to the floor above allowing natural daylight to diffuse throughout the space by means of an insulated, light filtering skylight above. Outside, Learning Terraces flow directly from the Learning Communities, and connect them with the Tumblin’ Creek nature area.

This innovative new elementary school is the embodiment of the guidelines set forth by the school community, and defined through the collaborative effort of students, teachers, administrators, the University and the East Gainesville community. Flexibility and varied spaces are the result.

Project Data

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Type: New Construction

Size: 36,000 SF

Cost: $8 Million

Date Opened: 2012

Design Team: Randy Fielding and Jen Leyva