Anaheim Elementary School District held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on Thomas Edison Elementary School’s new Research and Innovation Center (RIC) in Anaheim, California. The HMC design team, local dignitaries, trade partners, district representatives, and faculty attended the event to mark the beginning of the new 7,645 SF project.

The district and Thomas Edison Elementary School set out to create a multi-functioning facility that would replace the existing library building, accommodate a variety of activities, and serve as an inviting community center for the neighborhood. The design prioritizes efficiency, safety, and accessibility, with clear entries and pathways, and is designed for community, change, clarity, and well-being. We collaborated with a diverse set of stakeholders throughout the design process to ensure a strong connection to the adjoining neighborhood. The resulting Research and Innovation Center accommodates multiple teaching and learning modalities, with easily identifiable entrances and a layout that promotes easy monitoring.

The new building will accommodate roughly 100 students between the four main classroom spaces — two classrooms, an innovation lab, and a research and innovation center. The result is an inclusive environment that is welcoming for all and connects occupants with outdoor spaces. Large sliding glass doors allow connections between interior spaces and exterior plaza. Covered exterior canopies, adjacent to the classrooms, allow for a mix of indoor/outdoor teaching and learning opportunities. The RIC’s flexible furniture and layout invites students to engage in collaborative learning or individual study. Nestled within the bookshelves, a cozy reading nook offers students a tranquil space for individual study or respite.

Substantial completion is scheduled for November 2024.