Dessie F. Evans Elementary is named after beloved, retired educator, Dessie Evans. As a long-time teacher, Dessie dedicated her career to her students and quality, inclusive education. She wanted the new building to represent a culture of respect for all people.
Even though the school serves a large student body of 1,000 students, the interior feels open, warm, and welcoming. Glass walls allow ample daylight to brighten common and learning spaces. High ceilings contribute to a spacious feel throughout the school. Acoustically, sound is managed with the use of absorptive panels, wood elements, and soft furnishings. Variegated paneling resembling a stand of trees not only brings nature inside, it also serves a practical purpose by helping absorb and disperse noise. Common space includes shared learning areas for planned and unstructured activities. Nooks underneath stairs provide room for small-scale project work, mentoring opportunities, and individual study. Throughout the shared spaces, vibrant colors and expansive wall graphics help define areas and assist in wayfinding. The school's exterior includes a wooded area to explore and outside learning space for environmental studies. The school is also sustainable and built with ecology in mind, including its carefully planned footprint that works in concert with existing land features. The building is purposefully sited to minimize disruption of the natural setting and allow maximum natural light infiltration and usage.