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District Dedicates Idea Center for Gifted Education

November 13, 2023

Lindbergh Schools celebrated the grand opening of a dedicated gifted education center for elementary school students on Nov. 13, 2023. The Idea Center is located on the campus of Lindbergh High School, in the circular building that previously was home to the LHS library for many decades.

Teachers and staff, elected officials, project team members and district administrators were on hand to celebrate the new space during a ribbon cutting ceremony that also included students in the St. Louis Regional Program for Exceptionally Gifted Students, and fifth-graders in Lindbergh’s elementary school LEAP program for gifted students. 

Following the ribbon cutting, students led guests on a tour of the new space.

The Idea Center was designed by Perkins and Will architects, and built by BSI Constructors Inc. Wiegmann Associates provided mechanical contracting services.

“We love having a place of our own where students can be creative, collaborate with other learners, use our critical thinking skills and communicate our learning both at the Idea Center and beyond!” said Dr. Tracy Bednarick-Humes, Gifted Education coordinator.

About the Idea Center:

The Idea Center is Lindbergh’s first dedicated home for elementary school gifted education programs, including LEAP and PEGS. Prior to the 2023-24 school year, this program was scattered around the school district. A dedicated central location now enables programmatic synergies that were not previously possible.

The Idea Center building served as the Lindbergh High School library for many decades. The original space was designed around a perfect circle, creating a static space focused on the center. The renovation changes the space from static to dynamic, to reflect the creative ways in which learning takes place in Lindbergh’s gifted programs.

“The new design shifts geometries from perfect circles to more complex parabolas inspired by the St. Louis arch and orbits of planets,” said Steve Turckes, principal for Perkins and Will. “Focus shifts from the singular to a space where multiple elements start to influence and interact with each other.   A new parabolic learning stair is in dialogue with small group spaces and a new ceiling that spirals into adjoining spaces.”

The facility is anchored by a central learning commons – a flexible space that supports gatherings, lectures, making, and exploration.  It includes two levels of classroom space, central learning stairs, flexible seating areas and a secure entry vestibule.

Lindbergh Gifted Education Programs:

The Idea Center is home to Lindbergh’s gifted education programs for students in grades 1-5. 

LEAP offers enrichment opportunities for district students, who attend the Idea Center one day each week. The curriculum consists of thematic, multidisciplinary units that encourage exploration and investigation, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity.

The St. Louis Regional Program for Exceptionally Gifted Students (PEGS) offers curricular acceleration and enrichment opportunities for exceptionally gifted students. This regional public school program was established to assist local school districts in providing for the unique needs of these exceptionally gifted students.  About 1% of gifted students qualify for this higher level of learning intervention.

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