Southside STEM Academy at Campostella Serving K-8 with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) The Southside STEM Academy at Campostella is a 1147 student, one […]
The Southside STEM Academy at Campostella is a 1147 student, one to three story, K-8 school located on the previous site of Campostella Elementary School. The existing building and site amenities were demolished prior to the construction of the new facility.
The building is approximately 181,489 SF, consisting of a three-story academic wing, a two-story area with the Administration on the first floor and Media Center above, and a one-story wing consisting of a Cafeteria, K-5 Gym, Art Classrooms, Nature Classroom, Music classrooms, Main Gymnasium, Locker Rooms, Heath classrooms, Kitchen and service rooms.
The new building was completed 70 days ahead of schedule. 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 playfields, an outdoor classroom, and a building facade that blends into the surrounding community.
The design of the school is organized around the STEM school curriculum and is broken down into three grade levels on each floor, with Grades 6-8 occupying the top floor of the Academic Wing. Each grade level is broken down again into a house consisting of learning studios, flexible classrooms, small group breakout spaces, STEM activity area, prep rooms, storage rooms, and teacher workrooms.
The STEM approach allows students to stay within their house for a majority of the school day and minimizes the need for other grade levels to circulate through the grade level house. This approach allows the students of each grade to enjoy a more collaborative learning process by taking advantage of all available space in their respective grade level houses. Additionally, this approach provides students, teachers and administration with the familiarity that is enjoyed in a smaller school setting.
The one story exploratory wing contains academic programs that are common to all grade levels and therefore is easily accessible by all grades. This wing contains such classes as Art, Music, Nature, Health, Physical Education, as well as the Cafeteria/K-5 Gym space. A Lecture Hall is located next to the main entrance, off the main gathering lobby. This location allows the space to easily be used after hours for public functions. The Media Center is centrally located to promote student use and is also located on the second floor, at the top of the monumental stairs, for possible public use after hours. The Main Gymnasium seats approximately 250 when the bleachers are in the open position. A K-5 Gymnasium is provided as an additional teaching station for younger students and for other sporting events. A Nature classroom has been provided as a part of the K-8 STEM program. The room has an exterior door to access the wetlands nearby on the site. This classroom is designed to connect the interior school with the outdoor learning space the site provides. The Technology package provides for a state-of-the-art facility.
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 83.
SBBCC’s virtual design team developed a precise Building Information Model through careful and detailed coordination with all subcontractor trades. SBBCC Superintendents used the BIM model on a daily basis to identify potential clashes between trades and work with all subcontractors to find dimensions, details, connections, etc. all for which cannot be found on construction drawings. Early development of the model reduces costs and time throughout the entire project.
Through careful coordination with mechanical and electrical subcontractors, SBBCC developed a plan to condition the building prior to the entire building being “dried-in.” SBBCC divided the building into 5 separate sections and constructed temporary partitions throughout the building in order to condition each section. This allowed the team to start finishes prior to dates shown on the construction schedule and accelerated the schedule by 4 months.
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 561,814 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.