McKinley Elementary School is an addition to a former sixth grade intermediate school, expanding the capacity at the elementary level to fulfill part of a district-wide master plan to align facilities with proper educational programming. The STEM school now serves grades K-5 and has a culture rooted in collaboration and learning through project-based inquiry. The design celebrates this culture through a continuous learning commons shared by everyone to support personalized learning, team-teaching, and collaboration. Grade-level pods ensure the best organization of the school, while a new main office and a secure vestibule improve safety for children and staff. The design values ample transparency where learning can be on display and celebrate student achievement. Access to natural daylight and a material palette inspired by the wetlands on site inform the design and set the backdrop for outdoor science educational opportunities.