This week, Nystrom Elementary School students started the new year inside a modernized and expanded campus at 230 Harbour Way South.
To mark the milestone Monday, the architectural firm behind the construction, Interactive Resources, offered interesting information about the building’s history and new features on its Facebook page.
Kaiser Company constructed the two-story building in 1943 to serve as the primary elementary school for the children of workers in the Richmond Shipyards, the company said.
But in recent years, as part of a community collaboration to improve the surrounding neighborhood called the Nystrom United Revitalization Effort (NURVE), the campus underwent a complete renovation, including “improvements to adjacent streets and sidewalks and all new parking and play areas,” according to Interactive Resources.
More photos from the campus can be accessed on the Interactive Resources Facebook page. The firm was founded by Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, the veteran architect whose son Andrew Butt was architect on the Nystrom Elementary project.
The project included the construction of a brand new 13,000 square-foot multipurpose building, which was completed in 2012. The building will also serve as a community center for the neighborhood.
It appears everything down to the blades of grass were considered in the campus project design. School grounds offer “landscape for learning” where all classes can have their own garden.
Other sustainable design features include “re-use of the old maple flooring on the second floor, countertops made from recycled paper and recycled glass bottles, and re-use of over 75-percent of the exterior redwood siding,” Interactive Resources reported.
The NURVE group that realized the project includes officials from the city, county, school district, Richmond Community Foundation and National Park Service.
History won’t be lost in the modernization, however. Due to its association with the Richmond Shipyards, Nystrom School is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, according to Interactive Resources.