• LaBella Associates

Technology Integration and Multi-Purpose Flex Space are Timely Updates to Webster's Library

Our multi-phase renovations to the Webster Central School District continue with a tech-savvy transformation of the Webster Thomas High School Media Center. The existing library underwent a full renovation and expansion, incorporating pre-existing structure to create a multi-functional, flexible workspace.

In many districts, libraries and other common spaces will serve as important flex space to help facilitate distancing during the pandemic.  Today's libraries are well-equipped to support group or independent learning, tinkering, and technology exploration - you can read more from our team on the many functions of the modern library in this issue of In Session, our K-12 digest.

Webster's program included the “Titan Tech Bar,” where students can take classes to fine-tune their tech skills while servicing student Chromebooks. Students can also hone their public speaking talents while producing the school news program and broadcasting live in their new broadcasting studio. The entire Media Center features integrated technology, ample outlets and screens. This is consistent with Webster's 1:1 pedagogy.

The aptly named “Skylight Café” is a sunny addition that was made possible by infilling a courtyard and capping it off with a sky-high shed roof. Windows reach high above adjacent roofs and allow for pools of natural light to fill the space, creating an open, bright atmosphere and giving the new student café and lounge its namesake.

The Media Center’s design promotes collaboration, while still providing plenty of flexibility to sequester into smaller groups. The new space incorporates a functional classroom surrounded by moveable glass walls, allowing for separation during lessons as well as an open incorporation into the Media Center at large. “Huddle rooms” provide students an opportunity to put their ideas together in small groups. The four rooms – each a different size to accommodate various types of projects – contain large windows looking into the Media Center, allowing for an inclusive atmosphere while still providing sound separations necessary for focused small-group collaboration. 

Given the current climate and our ever-advancing means of technology and education, adaptability is a key function in all areas of the Media Center. All of the furniture and bookcases are on easily movable casters, and several portions are equipped with folding or overhead glass doors to allow for either open concept or compartmentalized workspaces on a whim. The possibilities for innovative configurations are endless, providing the District the ongoing ability to reconfigure and reorganize the space to meet their needs on any given day, month, or year.