The Reconstruction and Addition to Central Elementary School, while commissioned to fulfill basic expansion needs, aspired to lend civic stability to a community characterized by fluctuation. The neighborhood consists of an ethnically diverse, largely transient population resulting in a student base that experiences a 95% turnover rate. This combined with the area's relative urban context, host to gang activity, prostitution, and vagrancy, fosters a "tough neighborhood" image.
Two major thematic influences drove the scheme's resolution - the desire to respect the "memory" of 41st street and the implementation of an autonomous geometry. While the latter responds to introverted forces within the site's boundaries, the former addresses the broader context, anchoring the project to the community. The appropriate "little red school house" icon marks the convergence of the two ideas.