Over the last decade, Baltimore leaders have been attempting to revitalize a troubled region in the eastern part of the city.
With a new $1 billion biotechnology park to attract a bustling scientific and business community, building a successful school is the next step for the once-blighted area.
The East Baltimore Community School opened in 2009 in temporary facilities, but is due for a major upgrade. Leaders are currently shopping for the right contractors to create the $40 million school building, which is slated to open in 2014.
According to The Baltimore Sun, three contractors from around the country are in the running to win the contract. Each of the three have some very unique ideas for how to make East Baltimore a school of the future.
The Baltimore Sun reports,
In Ross Barney's proposal, the school's classrooms and common spaces enclosed a large central courtyard that would be secure from the streets. Much of the surrounding land would be devoted to a working farm, or "grange," with community gardens, open cisterns to collect rainwater and wind turbines to supply energy to pump the rainwater to irrigate crops.
Another proposal, from Rogers Marvel Architects, includes classrooms that would allow students to move into increasingly more complex environments as they age from kindergarten to eighth grade.
The third plan, proposed by Erdy McHenry Architecture, focuses on a communal roof that covers the entire school as a visual reminder of school unity. Prominent playing fields and arts areas would place emphasis on those activities.
Whoever wins the bid, East Baltimore can expect an innovative and unique school building.