Editor's note: The article below was written by 4th grade Claremont Elementary school students for the Claremont Times. 

Sam Pothier and Swastik Nanda, both students in Mr. Walczyk’s 4th-grade homeroom, set out to do an interview with Mark Nicholson the architect of Claremont Elementary School. Here are some of the questions and answers that happened in that interview.

SAM: My first question is how did you help design the school?

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MARK: I was the project architect of the project. So the floor plans and adjacencies of the classrooms and how everything fits together was my job. I communicated that to the contractor so they could build it.

SWASTIK: How long did it take to build the school?

MARK: The building took 2 years to build. But the process to design and build it was probably more like five.

SAM: Why are there cracks in the floor, is that a structural problem?

MARK: It’s not a structural problem. The cracks are for concrete expanding and contracting...We are looking at other things to kind of help address some of the aesthetic aspects of the cracking.

SWASTIK: How many square feet is in the building?

MARK: It’s about 130,000 square feet. Big building.

SAM: What is your favorite feature of the school design?

MARK: I am really happy about how the classrooms turned out because there was a lot of effort placed on making sure whenever you guys are in class it’s nice and quiet because there’s not a lot of traffic, not a lot of people walking back and forth. We talked about the light in the classroom and the windows and making sure the right amount of light is in that space... so that you guys can have a better time learning.

Sam and Swastik Interviewing Mr. Mark Nicholson in the main office of CES.

SAM: Was there any tricky landscaping or hills you had to design around?

MARK: Yes, we wanted all the water in the site to go directly into the ground...But the water doesn’t go through the soil, it sits there until it evaporates. So we had to redesign the site a couple of times in order to make sure we got the water off of the site and managed appropriately… We had to put a big basin out there,  I think they said it can hold 3 Olympic sized swimming pools.

SWASTIK: The school was pretty expensive.

MARK: It actually came in below budget.

SWASTIK: How old were you when you decided to be an architect?

MARK: It was somewhere around middle school.

SAM: Are things like Minecraft and Legos good practice for being an architect?

MARK: I love Minecraft and Legos.

SAM and SWASTIK: Me too! 

MARK: One of my favorite sets is the Statue of Liberty set. I like putting things together and I still like putting things together.

MARK: I have a question for you. What is your favorite part of the school?

SAM and SWASTIK: The bridge!

SAM:  Because in the fall or when it is snowy, the view is beautiful.

MARK: Any more questions?

SAM and SWASTIK: No, but thank you!

MARK: It was nice meeting you guys, I hope your project goes very well.