J.R. Simplot Elementary, “A Neighborhood S.T.E.M. School” is the latest school completed as part of American Falls School District’s Master Plan developed back in 1999 by Hutchison Smith Architects. The elementary school consists of fifteen classrooms, three computer labs, two special needs classrooms, two resource rooms, a Media Center, Administration Suite, and an elevator to accommodate the cafeteria located in the daylight style lower level of the gymnasium. The new 38,698 sf elementary school is built on the old HS site and to help save taxpayer money HSA was able to design the new building to tie into the existing HS gymnasium providing a fantastic facility that the school and community can utilize. The large capacity bleachers, stage and cafeteria are outstanding assets for the elementary school and district.
The building is surrounded by residential development and the design had to fit in while still providing no maintenance materials to last 50 plus years. Constructed using integrally colored concrete masonry block, steel roof joists and metal roof deck deleted the code required attic sprinkler which saved the district money as well as the potential pipe freezing issue all too common in that part of Idaho. An insulated roofing system, pitched roofs with asphalt shingles was incorporated to add a residential feel to the building making a nice addition to the neighborhood.