This project consisted of the construction of a new 129,273 SF high school to accommodate approximately 680 students. The facility included classrooms, a media center, […]
This project consisted of the construction of a new 129,273 SF high school to accommodate approximately 680 students. The facility included classrooms, a media center, computer labs, offices, science labs, locker rooms, exam rooms, a gymnasium, a teacher lounge, a cafeteria, a laundry room, an auditorium, nurse station and conference rooms. The dining facility seats 413 students with a full kitchen.
Wise County Public Schools needed to replace several aging high schools and consolidate the students into two new high schools. A creative yet budget-sensitive approach was needed. S.B. Ballard Construction Company, RRMM Architects, Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers, P.C., and Thompson Consulting Engineers submitted a successful Public-Private Partnership / Design-Build proposal to design and construct the two new high schools.
The construction of Central High School was initially delayed by the Owner due to multiple site selections. SBBCC and the Design-Build project team offered to assist with the testing, analysis, and final selection of the site. This site selection process delayed the project by 5 months. Nevertheless, the team completed the project on-time and within budget. SBBCC saved 3 months on the project schedule by expediting the foundations and the project team got “out of the ground” before cold weather hit. SBBCC had 7 excavators working: 5 of them were doing the foundations; dump trucks were being loaded with the spoils as they excavated the footings and moved it to the motor grader in the distance for fill where the football field was going. The construction team recovered all of the months lost at no additional cost to the Owner.
The design was based on a prototype school, with a total net square footage area of 121,070 SF, including the auditorium, serving 750 students. Each school building was designed to minimize energy costs and assure that the end products met the highest standards of quality, while being capable of exceptional longevity.
Primary entrances open to a central ‘Main Street’ corridor that connect, as well as separates common use areas from the basic Learning Center areas. This allows the classroom area in each school to be easily secured from public use spaces (Dining Area, Gymnasium, Auditorium, Administrative Suite) during non-school hours to facilitate the use of the schools by residents of the County for various social groups, civic clubs, etc. so that the entire county realizes direct benefits from this new investment.
The classroom wings are partial two-story structures in order to conserve limited land area. They are composed along a double-loaded corridor to promote an efficient building design. The media center, teacher planning spaces, student locker pods, storage rooms, resource rooms, computer labs and toilets are strategically located for convenient access. The classroom wings are oriented to the sun to the greatest extent possible, in a way to maximize the opportunities for effective natural lighting strategies and to provide access to an outdoor space for select classes and dining opportunities.
The natural lighting strategies that have been developed for these schools represent a truly cost-effective and energy saving technique and are integral to creating a welcoming and open indoor environment. The major elements of the new schools will be oriented on the site to take advantage of the east-to-west path of the sun. Clerestory windows, directional light accessories, white primary roofs, top lighting applications and interior window applications will work in concert to provide natural sunlight to the classrooms, art center, gymnasium, dining area and media center as well as other high-use spaces. Some additional sustainable design features of the buildings include: