Deer Valley Unveils Athenaeum Treehouse
By Anna Gilstrap
HCS Contributing Writer
December 11, 2017
Students at Deer Valley Elementary School have their eyes in books and heads in the clouds with the new treehouse structure, officially named the Athenaeum.
The striking, new library element was envisioned by school librarian Mrs. Raquel Lieber and built by a team led by Brian Roberson from local architecture firm bDot Architecture.
The goal? To renovate and modernize the school’s library which opened in 2001 and to provide students with a relaxing place to enjoy reading and discussing books.
Lieber’s vision has resulted in a collaborative space where assignments can be completed and students can read in peace - and beauty. She shared her vision with Deer Valley’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) representative Gina Harris. Harris then contacted bDot Architecture, which agreed to do the project pro bono with wood provided by Signature Homes.
“I explained [to the PTO that] we wanted to enhance student learning while designing a library for the future,” said Mrs. Lieber. “We want it to blossom into a creative and fun space.”
Mr. Roberson and his team, inspired by the organic characteristics of trees and forests in general, executed the lofty concept.
“We set out to design a space that would create excitement among students to not only visit the library, but to actually enjoy spending a few minutes escaping routine for an impromptu adventure through various printed genres in hopes that this seed of enjoyment would take root for a lifetime,” according to bDot Architecture’s official project website.
More important than anything else, school officials say, students love their new reading nook.
"The reading trees are beautiful,” said Jayla, a student at Deer Valley. “The even keep the sun out of my eyes now."
William, another student, said, “I think the library is much better now. It's more exciting to read.”