- Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School
PVC Library Renovation
Have you ever heard the word ‘hygge’? It’s a Danish word that, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means a cozy quality that makes a person feel content and comfortable. Our middle school students are quickly learning the word - and embracing it - as this element of Danish culture has found its way into the newly designed and configured PVC library.
“Our goal is for this to be a welcoming and comfortable place for all students - so that they feel like there is a safe space for them to go with friends or to be on their own,” explained PVC Librarian Linda Fuerst.
Based on students’ reaction to the space as they entered for the first time today since the renovation was completed, we’d say that goal has been achieved! Students immediately flocked to the center structure of sturdy cushions arranged at varying heights.
“It’s awesome; you can just lie down here and be with your friends,” said one sixth grade student. Another who chose a corner nook behind a book stack commented, “I don’t even remember what the old one looked like. It looks so good - I could just sit here all day!”
The physical structure of the library hasn’t changed but the bright, modular furniture and shelves make it feel bigger and more open. Tables at varying heights can be broken into individual units and reconfigured to meet the needs of the student - or large group of students - who are using it. These same tables have surfaces that double as white boards, another feature that facilitates collaboration. Soft chairs have small desks that can be moved back and forth and a number of small couches line the windows overlooking the front of the building. Even the bookshelves are modular, connected by magnets.
PVC Principal Michael Plotkin was thrilled to show the new space, not just to students, but other administrators and community partners, many of whom are part of the district’s Future Facilities Planning Committee.
“The library is a wonderful example of how learning spaces are evolving in our district to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of students,” said Principal Plotkin. “Our students are often working on group projects or collaborating on a lesson or for a club and this new furniture allows them to more easily come together with their laptops or other equipment. And for the student who may need some alone or quiet time, there are plenty of spaces where they can find that, as well.”