Office Depot, Inc., a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions, today announced a partnership with Washington Elementary School in Sacramento, CA, to help the school reopen, reimagining the school’s design after two years of sitting dormant due to a declined intercity enrollment and budget cuts. In less than four months, Office Depot, Inc., in partnership with HMC Architects, completed furniture specifications, product samples, design renderings and installed furniture in the new classrooms, cafeteria, media commons and administrative areas.
Providing solutions to different types and sizes of schools is central to Office Depot, Inc.’s Committed to Learning™. Washington Elementary School, the winner of California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing’s Design Honor Awards for Modernization and Transformation, proved to be a unique opportunity since the school reopened with a focus on STEAM classrooms (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics). Office Depot, Inc., combined its deep expertise in design and furniture implementation with its contact furniture dealership, Workspace Interiors by Office Depot, to develop learning environments that reinforce the project-based nature of the curriculum.
Office Depot, Inc. works with school districts around the country to design classrooms with new technology and furniture to help meet the changing needs of students today. For Washington Elementary School, the company provided flexible furnishings to allow students and teachers the ability to tailor their learning experience while integrating technology and incorporating one-on-one learning.
“Our goal was to reimagine an innovative way to approach learning and teaching at Washington Elementary School rather than replicate the previously closed version,” said Dr. Gema Godina-Martinez, principal at Washington Elementary. “Through Office Depot’s partnership, we were able to not only offer students and staff a new place to learn, but hope and excitement for families in the community.”
Combining decades of classroom design and furniture experience with expert consultants from across the education sector, Office Depot, Inc.’s Committed to Learning™ brand offers schools new choices in classroom innovation, and offers communities new ways to revitalize their local school facilities. Since Washington Elementary School reopened, forward thinking educators have been drawn to the school’s innovative feel and design, allowing families and students to be welcomed back to their neighborhood school.
“With Washington Elementary, we provided help with the design and furniture, but became a partner for something much larger,” said Becki Schwietz, senior director for K-12 education at Office Depot, Inc. “Not only did we create safe and comfortable spaces for students to allow for more innovative and forward thinking, but assisted in reopening a school that is critical to many families and students. Assisting local neighborhood schools is a crucial component of the company’s overall commitment to learning.”
Office Depot’s passion for helping local neighborhood schools through their Workspace Interiors division was matched by the lead architectural firm on the project, HMC Architects. The Workspace Interiors team worked closely with HMC Architects throughout the project to ensure the forward thinking designed environments supported Washington Elementary’s STEAM learning goals.
“Our mission at HMC Architects is to partner with communities to serve the greater good,” said Aaron Buehring, senior project designer at HMC Architects. “Through partnering with Workspace Interiors by Office Depot, we were able to work together to design and build a school that the students and administrative staff can be proud of.”
Office Depot, Inc. collaborates with school districts and other educational institutions through the company’s Committed to Learning™ initiative, which offers educators access to a national team of curriculum and instruction experts across disciplines. Through the Committed to Learning™ initiative, the company partners with school districts to meet their strategic goals by providing instructional solutions and access to experts that enrich the learning experience in the areas of personalized learning, project-based learning and innovative learning spaces, culture and wellness, instructional resources, and supplies.