I spent Tuesday back at my former school district in Culpeper, Virginia. Culpeper continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in the country. A result of this growth is the need for new schools. I was lucky to be a part of the funding, planning, design, construction, naming, redistricting, and completion of a new 260,000 square foot Eastern View High School and a new 82,000 square foot Yowell Elementary School.
The design priorities of both schools focused on educational programming, community use, and sustainability. For instance, the high school is heated and cooled using geo-thermal wells. We also selected stained, polished concrete for the hallway floors. The floors look great and are economical when compared to more traditional options. Moreover, the hallways do not require waxing and all of the labor and chemicals that go with it.
We incorporated technology into every classroom and community space. The pictures show the choral room, an elementary classroom, and a forum. The forum is a smaller auditorium space that connects to the drama classroom. In addition to the forum, Eastern View High School has a full auditorium with an orchestra pit.
My favorite design feature of the high school is the teacher work area located in the center of the four academic houses. Teachers wanted to collaborate and to share ideas. High schools are too often designed so that teachers are isolated in their classrooms. There is little other professional space. Eastern View has a two story teacher work area. There are no teacher desks in classrooms. Each teacher has a desk and there are conference rooms and tables for collaboration in the work area. I hear the teacher space has been a great recruiting tool.
It was phenomenal to see both schools full of students on Tuesday. I took several quick pictures because I know that we will be working together to design and build a new Memorial School in Burlington soon.