Swanson Elementary

A Dynamic and Enriching Learning Environment

The importance of the neighboring arboretum to this new school was shared by stakeholders when the project team solicited feedback during pre-design engagement. To create a truly unique sense of place, original illustrations of local wildlife and trees take center stage in the school’s interior and the neutral color palette frames the views into the natural landscape. Forest animals are unique to each grade’s classroom entrance (now classroom mascots!) and can be found playing in common spaces throughout the building.

Project Details

Omaha, NE

Scope of Work
Original Illustration
Experiential Graphics

A wayfinding system is created by using tree motifs for community learning spaces and supersized forest animals to distinguish each grade’s classroom entrance.

The simplified bold color palette creates a strong identity for the school and a neutral backdrop for activities.

Integrated into the wall graphics are illustrations of homes echoing the mid-century residential architecture style of the neighborhood, deepening the connection to the greater community in which the school serves.

Photography by Dana Damewood

Related Projects


1516 Cuming Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68102
p 402.341.1544
f  402.341.4735

Red Oak
302 East Coolbaugh Street
Red Oak, Iowa 51566
p 712.623.6888

General Inquiries


Careers Inquiries + Co-Lab

Seraphim Mullins


Request for Proposal

Anne Hillen

Press + Advertising

Mimi True

Community Alliance Grand Opening

June 17, 2024

Community Alliance and APMA have been working together for 30+ years, and we are thrilled about the completion of their new Center for Mental Health! Head to the link to read all about it.

Read More

We’re Hiring!

April 30, 2024

We’re growing our team! If you are a talented project architect or construction administrator who wants to put people first, advance design, and build community, please reach out to smullins@alleypoyner.com

Read More

Memorable Memoir

February 14, 2024

Memoir, a new restaurant near Omaha’s Old Market opened recently. APMA was lucky enough to be involved in the design of the memorable space.

Read More


November 21, 2023

APMA and Assistology recently placed first in the “An ADU for U” competition put on by AARP and the City of Omaha. Follow the link to find out more about the ready-to-build design!

Read More

APMA is Honored

November 14, 2023

At this year’s AIA Nebraska Excellence in Design Awards Gala, APMA was honored with not one, not two…but five awards! We are truly humbled and eternally thankful to our clients, partners, and staff for helping us Advance Design.

Read More

Neighborhood Transformation

October 25, 2023

Click the link to learn more about the important work being done to transform the Southside Terrace neighborhood with partners OHA, Brinshore, and Canopy South.

Read More