MNPS  |  Smith Springs Elementary School
Nashville, Tennessee

Project Facts

Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Size: 92,200 SF
Market: Education
Completed: 2015
Services: Architecture, Interiors
Scope: New Elementary School
Certifications: LEED Silver

Smith Springs Elementary School is a 98,200 square foot 800-student building situated near Percy Priest Lake wildlife habitat and YMCA Camp Widjiwagan. The youth camp and public school system developed a unique program enabling students to participate in camp educational programs with access to the natural environment.

The building program features a multipurpose gymnasium, community room, resource center, kitchen, play area, and classrooms. Each classroom is equipped with smart technology teaching boards and wireless connectivity for student personal computers. The building exterior evokes a clean, modern look with massing designed to reduce the visual scale of the building.

Designed by the Gould Turner Group team to achieve LEED Silver Certification, the school incorporates locally sourced materials, lighting controls, high-efficiency windows, indigenous landscaping, and bio-swales for filtering groundwater. Clerestory windows at gathering locations provide abundant daylight.

To achieve continuity with the historically scenic area and to spark childrens’ imagination, nature is incorporated as a design feature by the use of material tones, patterns, and textures. Inlay metal leaf patterns within the casework and the acoustical ceiling cloud shapes correlate with the nature theme throughout the school.

Consultant Team

EMC Engineers – Structural Engineer

I.C. Thomasson – MPE Engineers

Barge Cauthen – Civil Engineer

Hawkins Partners – Landscape Architects

Bell & Associates – Contractor

Contributions to Project's Success

Outstanding Classroom Design, American School and University magazine, 2016

Colors were incorporated from the existing site. The purple accent floor tiles were derived from the surrounding wildflowers and the carpet in the library has the visual texture of tree bark.

Floor patterns were developed to assist children with wayfinding.

Provided creative solutions for the $1.0M value engineering exercise without compromising design or performance.

Related Projects


GOULD TURNER GROUP |  Providing creative and thoughtful designs that empower communities to thrive.


Our vision is to improve all lives through design.

We believe that architecture has the power to profoundly impact the quality of our lives. Whether it is for a patient in a hospital, a teacher in a classroom, a student on a play yard, or a person at work, Gould Turner Group's vision is to use design as an instrument of positive change that makes the lives of those we touch that much better.





Passion for design
Quality in all we do
Respect for one another
Integrity in every action we take
Service to our clients
Continual improvement