Norwich University and Montpelier’s Union Elementary School Partner on Playground Project

Daphne LarkinNews

NORWICH UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

April 20, 2018

Norwich University’s Architecture Design Build program, called 802LAB, has partnered with Montpelier’s Union Elementary School (UES) and the community to design and build an outdoor classroom/playhouse as part of the school’s planned playground renovations.

Leading faculty member Tolya Stonorov and students in the 802LAB program have worked closely with a UES volunteer committee comprised of parents, teachers, administrators and community members as well as the students of Union Elementary School to define the project and how it serves the needs of the larger playground. The process began with precedent research that included diagrams, drawings, images and a detailed scaled model. These were presented to the committee and analyzed for their feedback.

“Our vision for the new playground at UES has always been to create an outdoor space that not only provides students and our community with a place to play but also one that will ignite their creativity,” says Jay Ericson, UES parent and Playground Project Manager. “The students in the 802LAB and Tolya have helped make this vision a reality. The NEST will be the cornerstone of the new playground and will be a place for students to learn, create, and experience an individualized connection to the outdoor environment.”

After gathering the committee’s hopes and requirements for the project, the students embarked on individual design responses. These were grouped according to likeness, further refined through a consensus process, and a final design was agreed upon and approved by the committee. DeWolfe Engineering in Montpelier, Vt., is generously working with 802Lab to engineer the project on a pro-bono basis.

According to Stonorov: “Design-build supports the idea that building, making and designing are intrinsic to each other: knowledge of one strengthens and informs the expression of the other. Hands-on learning through the act of building what is designed translates theories and ideas into real world experience.” This project exemplifies Norwich’s value of service to others as a community architecture project, one that is developed and executed in response to a community need and in close cooperation with those the structure will serve. The playhouse is affectionately called “The NEST.”

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).www.norwich.edu 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin, M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office Tel: (802) 485-2886
dlarkin@norwich.edu