We asked Wooster High Student Kate Bowman to share her photographs and impressions of the architecture at her school, which opened in Reno in 1962. Designed by the local architectural firm of Ferris, Erskine and Calef, it was remarkable for it's open feeling with large spans of windows. Today, as school designers worry about windows compromising student safety, it's fascinating to get a perspective from Kate, a student in the International Baccalaureate program and the daughter of our estimator, Scott Bowman.
"I feel as though having windows in my school impacts the learning of me, and my classmates. Being able to see the nature outside of your classroom gives students a place to look and reflect when they are stuck on a concept, or just need a moment of peace."
"It is also nice to have natural light in a classroom; some of my teachers turn the lights off if we’re watching a video through the projector, and it helps to have natural light still peering through the windows so we can see our paper enough to take notes."
"When the seasons change, I like to watch the weather through the windows in my classrooms. I especially love snow, so when it snows I enjoy watching it through the windows. My mom is a teacher and has worked in a windowless classroom for the past few years. Her room is the one they give to new teachers because no one wants to work in a room with no windows. The lack of windows makes the room feel stuffy and unwelcoming. You have no sense of time of day in her room, and it gives a feeling of detachment from the rest of the school. "
"I feel windows are an essential part of our learning, as students, as well as the comfortability of students and teachers in our workplace," Katie concluded.
To revitalize Wooster High School, the Lepori team replaced all windows on the 1962 campus. Work included asbestos abatement, selective demo and carpentry, flashing and sheet metal, sealing joints, painting and some mechanical and electrical improvements. The Lepori team salutes Kate Bowman for capturing the simple lines and beautiful windows of this mid-century gem of a high school.