Schools are designed mostly one way today: a flat building with usually no more than three floors. The vision of the school I have is inspired by one of my dreams, and the Wayside School stories I read back in grade school.
Since I am still drawing what the school looks like, the drawings may not be published very soon. Try your best to visualize the school based on what I have described below.
The school would indeed go up instead of out. It would be a frustum of a cone, 100 feet in diameter at the base and tapering to an 80-foot-diameter top. The structure would be 120 feet tall, with 12 stories amounting to about 108 feet and the top several feet for maintenance equipment and elevator gear. Inside would be classrooms, 20 feet in width. At the center of the building would be a column, six feet in diameter, that houses the elevator and elevator shaft.
Floors on the building would be defined by landings that are "glued" onto the elevator shaft. These landings would be fifteen feet in diameter going up the length of the elevator shaft. The first landing would be fifteen feet above the floor, and successive landings would be twelve feet apart. Landings would also be connected by a huge spiraling staircase.
Connecting the landings to the classrooms on the sides of the building would be ramps, three per landing. The ramps would incline/decline three feet over the course of the run (check compliance with NIST standards, especially at the top. Incline may be removed or lessened if no compliance). The classrooms would be surrounded by walkways about nine feet in width.
Classrooms would be all around you if you stood inside the buildings. There would be about eight classrooms per floor, which means 88 classrooms.
The floor of the building would be the cafeteria, restaurants, a Performing Arts Center possibly merged with the cafeteria, and a gymnasium.
Lighting would come from several sources. There would be a hole in the top to let in natrual light, and a few windows throughout the side of the building as well. To compensate for the lack of light, very efficient ground-directed lights would be installed throughout the bottom of the landings, ramps, classroom walkways, and possibly ground-up lighting on the main floor.
The school should have a warm, subtle, subdued, but bright feel to it. It should be modern with its choice of coloring. I've chosen a mix of brown and silver for the walls, oak colored carpets, glass panes as rails for the landings, ramps, and classroom walkways which could be tainted red just a little, and a silver spiraling staircase.
Chairs and tables in the cafeteria would be black, the tables being silver (undecided so far).