The official start of summer is here, and while that may mean students and teachers are enjoying their time off, construction officials and the LAN design team are just getting started on what will be a big-time homework assignment. This morning, LAN joined with education officials, students, and other members of the Woodbridge Community for the ground-breaking ceremony of two projects for the school district: The new Ross Street Elementary School, and additions and renovations to Woodbridge Middle School.
The two projects combined cost roughly $50 million and include innovative learning environments and adaptations to help educators boost student collaboration and ideas. The LAN design team effectively utilizes natural light in these buildings and is promoting the maker-space approach to educational designs. Maker space is a new trend in education that promotes active learning.
“Every project is a team effort; not just internally, but from town officials as well as those in the industry we work in, so we have to thank everyone who helped make these projects happen,” said Ken Karle, President of LAN Associates. “Our team of architects and engineers worked hand-in-hand; putting together a truly remarkable design that this community can be proud of for years to come.”
“Our goal is to create students who are life long learners, and it starts in an environment that fits their learning style,” said Dr. Robert Zega, Superintendent of Woodbridge Schools. “By providing an environment that is engaging, interactive and new, our teachers can play to the strengths of students’ learning style and make learning, well, fun.”
“No society loses when students are provided with the avenues to develop and grow in an innovative environment that feels safe, comfortable, and supportive,” said Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac. “The faculty and staff in our school district are the best at what they do, which is why they deserve the best environment to perfect their craft. We are very excited for this and we want to thank LAN for their commitment to a transparent approach all the way through.”
The projects are expected to be completed in 2019 and 2020 respectively, for Woodbridge Middle School and Ross Street Elementary School.
Details of both projects are below:
Ross Street Elementary School: The new three story, 87,000 square foot school is centered around a large atrium courtyard providing natural light and a connection to nature. The courtyard houses a small amphitheater for outdoor lessons, several “living learning” gardens, and seating areas for reading and eating. The school promotes various break out spaces and flexible learning environments for a variety of learning styles, while also equipped with a large amount of photovoltaics combined with daylighting strategies to reduce overall energy consumption.
Woodbridge Middle School: Renovations to the one-hundred-year-old school were centered upon creating a more advanced learning environment, as well as, a welcoming community center for town’s residents. In a complex design scheme, utilizing existing structures while also proposing needed classroom space, LAN created a design that respectfully compliments the existing building. The entire project consists of a new gymnasium and locker rooms, large musical and vocal classrooms, six new science rooms, a Creative Commons, Production studio, and renovated classrooms.