Richard Bowling Elementary School Serving PK-5 with an International Baccalaureate Program The new Richard Bowling Elementary School is a replacement facility for the aging elementary […]
The new Richard Bowling Elementary School is a replacement facility for the aging elementary school located a few blocks away. The new 101,060 SF facility houses nearly 700 students in pre-kindergarten through 5th grade by incorporating spaces geared toward collaborative and project-based learning. It was completed two weeks ahead of schedule.
The design of the new school is organized around the International Baccalaureate School concept which emphasizes academic and personal rigor. The design includes a one-story common use area that houses programs universal to all grade levels, as well as a two-story learning community containing classrooms, small-group shared project rooms, art, science, computer and multi-purpose labs centered around a common central stairway. Site features include separate vehicular (parent drop-off area) and bus traffic entrances as well as clearly defined areas for neighborhood pedestrian traffic, a full-size football field and multi-use play fields, an outdoor classroom, and a building facade that blends into the surrounding community.
Capacity was determined based on Department of Education Guidelines and enhanced to meet NPS expectations for the Broad Creek community. A number of community presentations plus online commentary (NPS PPEA website) provided active and interested participation. Also, they produced additional design ideas that enhanced the team approach to the design and construction of the new school.
Many sustainable concepts are incorporated into the design of this school, including day lighting, building orientation to maximize site efficiency and sun exposure, incorporation of the on-site wetland areas into the curriculum (nature classroom), and implementation of a web-based software that occupants can access via computer to monitor, interact and learn from the building’s sustainable design features. A high energy efficient HVAC system and daylight harvesting are also incorporated into the building design. This project received Energy Star (ES) certification for 2017 with a rating of 76.
During the construction phase, SBBCC managed the budget, schedule, and quality of the school by having full-time Project Managers and Superintendents on site. The team provided daily coordination, direction, and issue resolution by acknowledging challenges and contacting the needed parties and working through issues as a team. The project team also found opportunities to accelerate the project schedule and completed this school prior to the original construction date.
SBBCC successfully incorporated “Flashing / Lighted School Signs” on the project informing traffic the speed limit is reduced in the school zone in time for the first day of school. Because the signs are located on a major primary road, this process required close collaboration with the City, the local power company, and various other utility companies to work out easements. This added feature could have taken a year to finalize, but SBBCC’s diligence and experience allowed the team to resolve the plans in a few months to be sure they were installed prior to the first day of school.
Norfolk Public Schools Modernization
The S.B. Ballard Construction Company’s Project Team was awarded the contract to build five (5) schools for the City of Norfolk, totaling 564,982 SF. This project involved the design and construction of these new facilities at five (5) different locations and demolition of the older existing facilities. The Project Team performed the work in overlapping phases which allowed all five schools to be completed in a 5 year span.
The Public-Private Partnership / Design-Build process provided the platform for the Project Team to engage the public in numerous community meetings throughout Norfolk, VA. The team held forums in each area’s school zone to gather community input and discuss plans for each new school. The Project Team took the public input from the community meetings and incorporated this feedback into the different programs that were outlined by the City of Norfolk and Norfolk Public Schools (the City and School System). Special attention was also given to the existing design and construction of the surrounding buildings as well as the specific needs of the local neighborhoods and businesses for the new school construction.
The City and School System saved millions of dollars in design, engineering, construction costs, and FF&E costs through economies of scale for design and construction and bulk purchases of furniture and equipment. This approach saved valuable time and money during the development of construction drawings.
Constructability issues were minimized through the collaboration of the design and construction teams and the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM). S. B. Ballard Construction Company successfully managed and coordinated this complex project to build, demolish, and transition students and faculty from the old schools to the new school buildings with no interruption. This detailed, multi-phased success story is a testament to S.B. Ballard Construction Company’s due diligence in working with the local communities, City and School System to learn about their needs and deliver on our commitment.