By Jessica Thompson, Newswire
With help from 30 stakeholders and over 300 members of the International School of Beijing (ISB) community, the school's Facilities Master Plan (FMP) was able to capture and incorporate the ideas, goals, and recommendations of all to build and remodel four facilities.
They include a new Elementary School Arts Center and Theater, a new Performing Arts Center for the Middle School (MS) and High School (HS), a remodeled Early Years Center, and a remodeled MS/HS Design Center. ISB is anticipating the two new-builds will be completed in the fall of 2019, and the two remodeled spaces in 2020. Opening day will bring the community's vision to fruition after an exhaustive consultation exercise.
"This Facilities Master Plan design and review process not only looks internally at the facility needs of ISB's developing programs but it also looks externally to identify the programs and facilities availed to the community of learners at our peer schools around the region," said Gerrick Monroe, ISB's Chief Financial/Operating Officer.
Building for the future
As is the case with many established schools, ISB's FMP is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure the highest quality of learning spaces.
"Regular revisions of ISB's Facility Master Plan are made to ensure that facility modifications and additions are relevant and vital to the success of our innovative and changing programs and in line with our goals of providing world-class facilities that best meet the educational needs of our dynamic school community," said Monroe.
This review process takes a long-term view, looking at ISB programs and the facilities required to support them. "Programs at dynamic schools like ISB require purposefully designed, flexible spaces to best meet the programmatic requirements," Monroe explained.
And with the help of the regular review process and a futuristic look at what the school requires to ensure a world-renowned education, ISB moved forward with the detailed design and permitting processes for these four facility projects in the spring of 2017. This final stage was the result of work and recommendations from over 20 FMP Committee members, 30 stakeholders, and the voices of over 300 members of the ISB community.
Facilities serve student learning
"Educational spaces on the ISB campus are intended to be creative spaces that provide much more than a standard educational experience," Monroe said. "As such, these spaces should provide for students to actively engage in the ISB learning processes and activities."
The refresh and remodeling plan for the four facilities includes more visible teaching and learning spaces where students' and teachers' work is celebrated.
According to Monroe, the intention was to transform more traditional classroom settings into visible learning space where solid walls are replaced with large windows that open into community spaces and hallways.
He added, "Flexible spaces allow for seamless changes in the daily programs and activities and are also more easily repurposed to meet the changing programmatic needs of a dynamic learning organization over the long term."
FMP ensures the highest standard of construction
With a continuous, transparent FMP and a collaborative, consultative development process, the new facilities ensure the highest standard of construction.
In order to ensure this, ISB signed up Xiaoyi Ma, founding partner of Inclusive Architectural Practice in Beijing.
Ma worked closely with ISB teachers, staff, and administrators to design these new spaces.
She arrived with a lot of experience. Ma graduated from both Tsinghua University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has extensive design experience in the U.S. and with many schools in China.
ISB has also recruited the help of CBRE Senior Project Manager Andrew Jin in the design, plan review, permissions, procurement, and construction management processes of the new spaces.
With a bold vision and expert execution, ISB's FMP means the school community has a lot to look forward to in the new buildings.