Buffalo Public School 65, Roosevelt Academy is an Early Childhood Center serving children in Pre-Kindergarten through Fourth Grade. The school is named to commemorate a historic visit from President Roosevelt, and the design of the new library focuses on the fireplace from which he read to the children.
This 1,500 square foot library houses a variety of programmatic functions in a small space. The fireplace is highlighted with a semi-private story telling area that is both engaging and scaled for small children. The bookshelves built into the structure that defines the story telling area also serve to divide the room so that different groups can use the library simultaneously. Two arcs provide continuity in the library by linking the story telling area and circulation desk with similar gestures that are both clad in stained plywood that add splashes of color and warmth to the space. The perimeter of the room reinforces the historic character of the building with traditional dark wood bookshelves, while providing balance to the dynamic and engaging forms and colors of the reading area and reception desk. With the addition of new technologies and a direct link to the computer lab, the library is also redefined as a fully functional media center.
As the architect of record, Watts provided full architecture, engineering and environmental consulting services.