On January 18, 2017, the Brighton campus of FlexTech High School officially opened its new space with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. and an Open House from 5–7 p.m. This new space is a nearly 14,000-square-foot extension that maintains and enhances the school’s commitment to creating a learning space where students are encouraged to play a role in how and what they learn.
As a school that promotes design thinking for students and staff, the design of the space was very intentional from its opening in 2011. Creating an environment where students had increased autonomy on how to manage their time and work is meant to replicate the less formal structured work spaces and roles in the 21st century, where what is valued is critical thinking, generating ideas and problem solving, often in groups. In addition to the more collaborative workspaces, FlexTech campuses are also designed to better respond to how mobile technology has been incorporated into our lives today.
The expansion includes a second floor with large flexible classroom spaces. Students and teachers have the ability to easily move and rearrange tables and seating based on what they need at a specific time. The basement area opens to a huge studio space for the growing art program that includes a dark room space and kiln. 3D printing, large printing for architecture or art posters are now easily accommodated as well.
Ultimately, the expansion and design reflect the belief that teens can produce high quality, professional work when they are motivated by freedom, autonomy and a sense of purpose that highly structured high schools often discourage in an effort to manage large student populations. FlexTech students have always looked around their school and known that they are valued and trusted. Now, they can also spread their wings (and their legs!) and take advantage of all that FlexTech has to offer.
Written by: Laura Moellering, Director of School Leadership at CS Partners