Baker Stuart STEM Manufacturing Complex

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Offering project-based learning opportunities for students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the Baker Stuart STEM Manufacturing Complex at Chautauqua Lake Central School was originally designed by CPL and constructed in 2016. To meet the rapidly growing demand for the program, an expansion effort was included in an extensive 2020 Capital Improvement Project (CIP).


Engaging directly with the community was crucial during the creative planning process. Discussions with the school’s administration, department teachers and local industry leaders centered around programming, technology and space requirements, which helped shape an effective action plan. This included creating a new woodworking area alongside the existing STEM spaces and introducing supplementary skill sets to bolster current manufacturing and production courses.

Final designs for this addition feature a spacious woodworking area stocked with a wide range of full-scale machinery and equipment to facilitate hands-on, experiential learning. Smaller, flexible classrooms are also integrated throughout the complex, along with floor-to-ceiling roll-up doors that enable direct access and easy space customization.

To establish a sense of synergy, all interior finishings from the complex’s original design are meticulously replicated throughout the addition. This includes details such as the gray and navy epoxied flooring as well as other prominent school branding elements. These strategic decisions create a continuous flow between every program space and mirror real-world production processes.

Today, the expanded complex offers high-performing learning spaces that feature rapid prototyping and computer-aided programming and machining to emulate full-scale production processes, allowing students to prepare for future career endeavors. Furthermore, the complex continues to partner with local businesses and higher education institutions, providing students with valuable opportunities to direct employment and early college credits.

Photographer: Tim Wilkes