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The Connor Group Kids and Community Partners

The Greater Dayton School

Project Description

The Greater Dayton School is an innovative, private, non-religious PK-8 program that will serve Dayton’s poverty-impacted students.

Project Stats


Dayton, OH




90,000 sq. ft.

Project Gallery

Design Features

Offering a student-focused program that also provides outreach family support and health services, the school’s goal is for 80% of its alums to graduate college with at least a bachelor’s degree. The Connor Group believes that when it comes to breaking the cycle of poverty, nothing has a higher return on investment than education, specifically the attainment of a college bachelor’s degree.

The six-story design takes advantage of its urban location in downtown Dayton to create a densely layered, multi-story building. The first two floors, the “public realm”, include school administration, a wraparound clinic and family services hub, student dining commons, black box theater, media center and visual arts spaces. The “student realm” occupies the upper floors. The third, fourth and fifth floors include PK through 8th grade classrooms and student collaboration spaces. The gymnasium and a protected rooftop terrace occupy the sixth floor. The interior spaces are meant to inspire students through themes of transparency, interconnectedness, discovery, flexibility and collaboration.

The orientation and massing of the building provide an energy efficient envelope. Strategic use of glazing and openings allows natural light to enter deep into the building, also visually connecting the inside experience with the larger context of the city. Outdoor spaces are organized efficiently, yet playfully to create diverse stimuli for the students. The entrance plaza is flanked by informal play areas, outdoor classrooms, community gardens and multi-purpose sports fields, and connects to parking as well as bus and parent drop-off areas.