School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties has commissioned Quackenbush Architects, in collaboration with Perkins + Will’s K-12 Studio, to design the thirteenth elementary school to serve their rapidly growing community. The 105,000 square foot school will be located in Chapin and will serve 750 students. An interactive programming process which included administrators, teachers, parents, board members and community members kicked-off the design of the school. Through this process a number of goals and values to guide the design were identified, including empowering students, providing opportunities for development of critical problem-solving skills, maximizing resources, maintaining a safe and nurturing environment for all students, and supporting the changing way students are educated in order to succeed in today’s fast-paced, technologically-driven society.
The two-story structure is organized around a central, secure courtyard connecting to the Media Center and Related Arts classrooms. The building is zoned for functionality and security with grade levels on the east side of a central lobby and administration area, and community spaces such as gymnasium and cafeteria to the west. The Pre-K / Kindergarten areas are housed in their own secure zone with direct access to a fenced playground and a dedicated drop-off for these parents. Taking cues from the surrounding area, the exterior of the building utilizes a combination of stone and blended red brick. Generous windows provide daylighting and views to the interior of the building, promoting health and wellbeing for the students and staff inside.
The new SOAR Academy for Horry County Schools in Conway is a 50,000 square foot student focused alternative school. The building’s design celebrates the “SOAR” experience adjacent to the main entry with a high sloping roof and an accent brick feature wall which continues inside as a back-drop to the main stage. Students successfully complete the program and return to their regular school settings. The “SOAR” Room serves double duty as the dining room. A middle school and a high school classroom wing enclose the activity courtyard towards the rear of the building. A shared multi-purpose room and group collaboration spaces are centrally located to serve both population groups. The building is sited on a greenfield site located near the district office allowing for future facilities and synergies. The project is on schedule to be completed in the Fall of 2021.