Like fashion, school designs change with the times, and at the time Eagle Ridge Middle School was built, open classrooms were all the fashion.
Now, though, open classrooms can be considered disruptive, as sound travels from one area to another, and a security concern. This summer, as part of Vision One91 facility upgrades in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, Eagle Ridge addressed those issues with the installation of classroom walls, windows and doors throughout the school.
“Especially as we increase the engaging, collaborative activities that students do in their classrooms, noise levels naturally increase,” Principal Erika Nesvig said. “This allows teachers to encourage discussion groups among students without worrying about bothering other classes.”
Nesvig added that the school has also been able to create new collaborative spaces in common areas outside of classrooms. These areas will have white boards and monitors that students can use to work on projects in small groups, again supporting and encouraging collaboration among students. These spaces will also align with similar collaborative areas created at Burnsville High School to be similar to real-world work places.
The total cost of the project was $294,000, paid for by construction funds approved by voters in February 2015.