Imagine your favorite grade-school classroom, and chances are it was light, bright, full of color and soaked in good memories of what you learned there and the people you met.
To make sure every school has those kinds of classrooms, City Year Detroit and Gensler Detroit began to work together to improve school life for select kids. Recently, the two groups formally unveiled the renovated City Year classroom at Bethune Elementary-Middle School in Detroit.
Bethune students and AmeriCorps members use the space for mentorship and tutoring activities. The newly-outfitted room features new furniture and is designed to foster an environment that is functional, comfortable and vibrant, so students and AmeriCorps members can be as focused and productive as possible.
The Gensler Detroit design team took extensive measures to ensure that students’ creative ideas and specific needs were represented in the new design, having facilitated several visioning sessions, focus groups and surveys. This preparation resulted in a design that includes various collaboration spaces that mirror current higher education and workplace trends—better preparing students for success in their future academic and professional careers.
The renovation at Bethune Elementary-Middle School is part of an ongoing project with City Year and Gensler groups across the nation aimed at supporting the academic improvement and success of students through thoughtfully designed spaces that spark inspiration, curiosity and innovation. The project was completed with 100 percent donated personal time by designers, architects and volunteers within the Gensler Detroit office.
Gensler Detroit is an office of 40+ designers, creatives, and solution-seekers with a commitment to the power of design to create a better world and a better Detroit. As architects and designers, strategists and thinkers, the company works to grow, support, train, connect, and inspire Detroit’s downtown and neighborhoods. Gensler is a global architecture, design and planning firm with 44 locations and more than 5,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry.
In over 300 schools in 28 cities nationwide, City Year supports students, teachers and schools by providing the “people power” to effectively meet each student’s academic and social-emotional needs. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members serve full-time in schools alongside teachers, establishing developmental relationships with students and providing research-based interventions to help students and schools succeed.