Triton Academy is a special education school designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum. The program includes 20 classrooms, two multi-purpose rooms, library, three administrative offices, a conference room, work/break rooms, nurse station, bathrooms, and has a capacity for 180 students. The buildings mass and scale reflect and compliment the Conference and Educational Services Center’s design, yet fit the adjacent residential neighborhood.
The student classrooms are equipped with cabinetry, countertop sinks, and a learning center with an adjustable 80” television. The life skills room is a designated residential design space furnished with cook tops, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and demonstration table where students can gather and watch the teacher up close. The students are educated in preparation to become independent and self-sufficient in the art of cooking and provide them the support for continued learning through the transition from school to adult life.
The classrooms are designed to accommodate vocational skills, domestic skills leisure / recreation skills, community access / motor skills, communication, social-emotional and functional academics. Color and texture are important details to foster an appropriate learning environment for children with autism and other cognitive learning challenges.
The building is a 32,464 square-foot, two-story, steel framed building. Its “L” shape design is integrated into the site to provide a more sequestered and sheltered play and recreational area for hard-courts and grass. Areas for social interaction are developed around landscaped patios and in the interior corridor nodes. Entry canopies protect and welcome students, parents and visitors to the campus and facilitate way-finding. A simple and well thought out approach was taken to provide the most achievable CHPS & LEED high performance design criteria for the available budget. Starting with basic passive solar design techniques, the project features day-lighting, high performance mechanical systems, recycled content and recyclable materials and low emitting materials.