Barnette Magnet School

Updated: July 2015


c copyright 2004-18

all rights reserved.

BrainSpaces, Inc.

856 N. Fairfield Avenue, Suite #1

Chicago, IL  60622

Ph:  773.531.3221


Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Fairbanks, Alaska

In association with McCool Carlson Green Architects and USKH

Barnette Magnet School is an established K-8 school located in the heart of Fairbanks, Alaska. Developed by a passionate group of educators, this remarkable educational program for 400 students “empowers children as designers and inventors, enabling them to learn about the world through experimentation and exploration”.

The program provides a rigorous course of study for core subjects in the mornings and transforms itself in the afternoon to allow students to explore the world through an impressive collection of exploratory opportunities.

Currently, the school is operating in a 48 year old facility–designed for a traditional elementary school program– and is in need of major maintenance and facility upgrades. Working together, Fairbanks North Star Borough and Fairbanks North Star Borough School District are pro-actively considering educational adequacy and facility assessments to not only extend the serviceable life of the facility, but to reinvigorate the learning environment to work hand-in-hand with the educational process in delivering a model education program.

To accomplish this goal, the school district engaged a team of educational facility planners, school designers, and architects to facilitate a feasibility phase, developing a scope of work necessary for educational and facility upgrades. The team consists of Fairbanks based USKH architects and engineers, Anchorage based McCool Carlson Green architects, and Chicago based BrainSpaces. Together this team worked in a series of workshops with school leadership, parents, students, and district and borough representatives to develop a facility concept that works with the current program, allows expanded program opportunities, and will prove to be a valuable resource to the school district and community over time.

Diagram: Kindergarten Learning Environment

Diagram: Proposed Planning Diagram

Diagram: Building Renovation Floor Plan

Diagrams: Morning and Afternoon Use of Learning Environments

Students Participating in the school planning process.

Diagram: Arts Exploration Studios

Diagrams: Various configurations of the Multi-Purpose Room