As The Potter’s House school in downtown Grand Rapids undergoes a major renovation, Custer is working alongside their team to install active learning environments, education furniture, and classroom tools. With the classrooms freshly completed, Custer’s installers took a panoramic video of the brand new spaces–join us on a walk-through in the video above!
Below, Custer’s Education Specialist Emily Heilig offers insight into the Potter’s House project. For an understanding of the research and applications used in the design of the school’s classrooms, read on!
When was the project completed?
Emily: These classrooms at The Potter’s House were completed in August, prior to the school year starting. The entire project is still in-process, though. The commons area will be installed over Christmas break. For those who want to follow along, video updates to the project can be found on The Potter’s House Vimeo page.
What spaces did this project for The Potter’s House entail?
Custer provided education furniture for The Potter’s House’s classrooms and common spaces.
How did this project with The Potter’s House come to be?
Custer has been a supporter of The Potter’s House for years. We have Custer employees with both spouses and students at the school, and we’ve always been intentional about supporting our families and communities. What’s more, Potter’s House is an excellent Grand Rapids school, and it excites us to partner with administrators who have buy-in to active learning. So when The Potter’s House started construction on their new high school, Custer was brought in to work with their designer, Lauren James Studio.
What research or insights did you apply in The Potter’s House classrooms?
We applied research on active learning environments. We know that active learning is engaged learning, where various learning styles are supported through classroom tools and furniture. The particular education furniture we installed at The Potter’s House includes the Node chair, Node personal worksurface, Verb Instructor Stations, and Verb tables, which allow for easy mobility within the classroom. Some of the Verb tables are even standing-height, encouraging multiple postures.
How will the solutions you provided be helpful to students, educators, and staff?
We have installed this education furniture at schools up and down the state — public, private, charter, you name it. After installation, educators tell us how much kids love being in their classroom and how the education furniture breeds discussion and engagement.
We have already seen videos of The Potter’s House students talking about how they feel like they are going to be better prepared for college because of these flexible environments! Not only is that our exact aim, but it warms my heart. Anytime we can get schools on board with the full solution of an active learning environment, I feel like we’re helping teachers give more to their school and we’re helping students get more out of their education.
Stay tuned for more updates on The Potter’s House construction project right here on Empower!