A New Elementary School

College Park Elementary School was designed as a prototype to replace aging elementary schools in the city school system. The new school was planned to facilitate construction on the same site while the existing school remained in use. As a primary design idea, all classrooms, halls, administrative and public spaces have direct views to the outdoors with abundant daylight. The school's academic wing, hallways, and public spaces follow a circular arc of 2 story glass around a naturalized raingarden and outdoor teaching spaces.

A LEED Platinum school, College Park uses rainwater and daylight harvesting, solar energy to heat the floors of hallways and public spaces, and enhances its indoor and outdoor sustainable features as teaching tools for an integrated curriculum.

Capacity: 700 students

Area: 94,300 SF

Design + Construction: 21 months

Cost: $19,860,000

Owner: VA Beach City Public Schools

Walk with us

Outdoor pathways mimic the interior hallways along either side of the glass walls. The school raingardens handle up to 100 year storms, and become outdoor teaching and play spaces. The school's solar orientation and high performance glazing allows for the daylighting of all school classrooms and hallways.

The school sits between several neighborhoods with community hiking trails connecting each to the site. With its emphasis on transparency and inclusion of the natural environment in education, College Park has a become a community focal point of pride as well as a resource and destination.

 

Welcome outside

The school asks everyone to walk outside, under canopies or through the open walks and raingardens. The students welcome the outside to the indoors and learn while doing it through interactive educational signage. 

 

Community workshops

We made things with the community, let the neighborhoods talk, make, and remake. Many of the sketches and drawings assign importance, the things valued by the stakeholders, and these things become part of the school.