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Bluestone Elementary School Harrisonburg City Public Schools


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B lues tone El ement a r y Sc h ool Ha r r is ons bu rg C it y P u b li c S c h o o ls

Promoting Community through Diversity Bluestone places special emphasis on communitybuilding in an inclusive setting and celebrates cultural diversity through varoius design and graphic elements.

Nicknamed “the friendly city,” Harrisonburg is a designated refugee relocation city. Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) has experienced the highest school enrollment growth rate in Virginia over the past 7 years. Between 2002 to 2013, school enrollment grew more than 32% with an overall gain in city population of 21%. 35% of HCPS students identify as English Language Learners, representing over 60 different countries and speaking 58 languages. Guiding principles of Bluestone Elementary School’s design included celebrating this amazing diversity, fostering a sense of inclusion, and offering flexible learning opportunities in a net-zero energy ready environment that could evolve and expand with the school community. The design emphasizes a diversity of spaces and scales for differentiated learning opportunities while creating welcoming public areas that embody the school community’s commitment to learning in an inclusive environment. The school places special emphasis on communitybuilding in a diverse setting and celebrates the cross-section of cultures represented in the school population with an interactive flag wall near the lobby. Visual connections throughout the building, as well as to the landscape beyond, help to orient students and connect them to the unique beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.


B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

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B lues tone El ement a r y Sc h ool Ha r r is ons bu rg C it y P u b li c S c h o o ls


B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

Creating a Welcoming Environment Public spaces radiate outward from the lobby and create a welcoming arrival sequence, while wayfinding themed around local geography supports orientation. The design embraces cultural diversity while highlighting the relationship between the school and its global context. These social and physical elements help students relate to the larger world while feeling part of a community designed just for them. Public spaces radiate outward from the lobby and create a welcoming arrival sequence, while wayfinding themed around local geography and ecology supports orientation and identity. Located one level below the lobby entry, the multi-use Dining Commons features local wood and stone details to create a unique sense of place for the school community. Windows in entry-level shared spaces like the Music Room overlook the Dining Commons and heighten feelings of connection.

Environmental Wayfinding

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Dining Terrace + School Garden


B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

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B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

Site Considerations + Physical Environment Boulders and trees harvested during construction are re-purposed in the landscape as natural site and play features.

The 10.8-acre site is a unique post-agricultural site with varied topography, rock outcroppings, and sweeping views of the mountains which afford dynamic opportunities for a place-based learning landscape. The school’s compact, three-story massing maximizes site area for play and outdoor learning while the landscape supports environmental and human health education by creating a communal, active, and bio-diverse habitat. Boulders and trees harvested during construction are re-purposed in the landscape as natural site and play features and are paired with native grasses, trees, and wildflowers that support visible water conservation and stormwater management. Learning wings are rotated 16 degrees to maximize daylight and reudce glare in core learning spaces. Designed to be net-zero ready, the project is tracking an energy use index (EUI) of 18. The school incorporates various sustainable strategies: • Reducing water and energy use

• Ensuring healthy air quality

• Incorporating healthy low-emitting materials

• Employing innovative stormwater capture

• Promoting daylighting and a views to nature

• Providing a high-performance envelope

Net-zero energy performance was particularly challenging given the orientation of key views from the site and the project’s three-story massing. To deliver the best energy performance possible, the building uses shading, roof overhangs, glass treatments, and careful placement of instructional spaces to mitigate less than ideal solar orientation. The building steps down towards the south to maximize the area available for roof-mounted photovoltaics. Harrisonburg City Pulic Schools is currently contracting with a provider to install solar arays at all six of its schools.

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B lues tone El ement a r y Sc h ool Ha r r is ons bu rg C it y P u b li c S c h oSo ls

Welcome to 103,000 sq ft Bluestone 10.8 acres N

d

e

ports Field

ay

munity Open Lawn

oom

y Area

ng Circuit

O S

D

B

750 Garbers Church Road Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Be Active

L Bioretention Garden

B K-2 Play Lawn

M Water Cistern

C K-2 Playground

N Geothermal Well Field

D K-2 Play Terrace E 3-5 Playground

F Recreational Sports Field

G Open + Free Play

H School + Community Open Lawn I

Outdoor Classroom

J

Hard Court Play Area

K Bike Depot

1/4 Mile Walking Circuit

C O

N

D

P

Explore Nature O Native Meadow P Art Terrace + Garden Courtyard

B

Q Sycamore Grove

Bluestone Ele

Eat Healthy R Dining Commons

You are here

S Kitchen Garden

Find the Water L Bioretention Garden

P

Find the Water

A Gymnasium and Fitness

rbers Church Road onburg, VA 22801

d Fitness

K

C

B

elcome to uestone

ive

O

T Picnic Knoll U Outdoor Dining V Fruit Trees

You are here

M Water Cistern N Geothermal Well Field

Garbers Church Road

Explore Nature

H

O Native Meadow P Art Terrace + Garden Courtyard Q Sycamore Grove

Eat Healthy R Dining Commons S Kitchen Garden

H

T Picnic Knoll U Outdoor Dining V Fruit Trees

Garbers Church Road

A


B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

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I

1/4 Mile Walking Circuit M S V

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U Q

R E

G J

ementary School

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B lues tone El ement a r y Sc h ool Ha r r is ons bu rg C it y P u b li c S c h o o ls

Planning Process The planning group consisted of 20 people including representatives across grades, subjects, specialized learning needs, food service, and facilities.

As part of the planning process for the new elementary school, the design team reviewed all HCPS building capacities and assessed various factors driving growth in specific areas of the student population. Working with the Weldon Cooper Center at UVA, the design team aligned strategic analysis of enrollment projections with facility needs and educational goals, building consensus and buy-in from stakeholders along the way. The planning group consisted of 20 people including representatives across grades, subjects, specialized learning needs, food service, and facilities. Although sited adjacent to a golf course distant from a neighborhood setting, the design deliberately connects to regional master plans for public and alternative transportation, provides biking infrastructure, and connects shared use paths linking waterways, parks, and greenways to support community-building. Wayfinding emphasizes the school’s natural context to support vertical theming between floors and horizontal theming between grade levels. Levels 0-2 correspond with local natural systems including: Grand Caverns (Level 0), Shenandoah Valley (Level 1), and the Blue Ridge Mountains (Level 2). In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park System, school wayfinding recalls hiking trails to enhance navigation and provide a sense of adventure for students.

Programming + Massing Study


LEVEL 2

2

Blue Ridge

Mountains

LEVEL 1

1'3"

42"

1

Shenandoah

Valley

LEVEL 0

Program Spaces

1'3"

42"

Core learning Studios professional + Student Support Circulation

Grand

Arts + Exploratory Spaces

Caverns

Communityy Shared Spaces Building Support

0

50

100

0

200'


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B lues tone El ement a r y Sc h ool Ha r r is ons bu rg C it y P u b li c S c h o o ls


B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

Student-Centered Learning Model Breakout spaces and resource hubs are distributed throughout the neighborhood to empower one-on-one collaborations that complement the project-based work occurring in studios. Bluestone features 42 core-learning studios organized into grade-level neighborhoods. Neighborhoods are scaled to encourage relationship-building, collaboration, and unique arrangements that enhance learning, while allowing for flexibility in how the spaces are used. During the planning process, educators expressed a desire for team teaching. The resulting design promotes teacher and student collaboration and individualized learning by creating spatiallydiverse neighborhood environments that provide a variety of flexible scales and arrangements. Breakout spaces and resource hubs are distributed throughout the neighborhood to empower one-on-one collaborations that complement the project-based work occurring in studios.

STUDENT- CENTERED project based global community personalized collaborative

COLLAB PROJ

COLLAB IND

TECH

IND

CONTENT CREATED

1

1

2

3

PROJ TECH

B B IND 4

B 2

21st Century Model of Learning

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A

B

A

8

4

B

1

6 3

6

1 2 7 1

3 4 9 8 5


B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

Flexible Studio Spaces C

A

Open Studio

B

Super Studio Single Studio

C D E

shared staff resource / meeting SMALL GROUP Resource Flexible Connection Permanent connection Moveable partition

C 1

6

3 4 9 8

5

1

student + teacher resource storage

2

moveable partition

3

sink + resource area

4 5

Tackable Surface Reading window nook

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Studio Toilet (K/1)

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threshold bench

8

interactive technology

9

writable wall

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B lues tone El ement a r y Sc h ool Ha r r is ons bu rg C it y P u b li c S c h o o ls

Health + Learning Made Visible Opportunities for small group learning, collaboration, social connections, and physical activity are embedded throughout the school.

Bluestone’s dynamic learning neighborhoods maximize flexibility, visual connections, and physical proximities through open areas, reconfigurable spaces, and transparency. Beyond the core learning spaces, opportunities for small group learning, collaboration, social connections, and physical activity are embedded throughout the school. In Grades 3-5, Exploration Rooms and makerspaces support STEM programs and hands-on learning. Strategic visual connections throughout the building, as well as to the landscape beyond, help to orient newcomers, promote school community, and celebrate the unique beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.

Classroom with Views to Outdoor Learning Landscape


B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

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B lues tone El ement a r y Sc h ool Ha r r is ons bu rg C it y P u b li c S c h o o ls

Small Group Learning Area


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Post Occupancy Evaluation VMDO worked with the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) to develop a custom postoccupancy evaluation module in conjunction with CBE’s standard K-12 post-occupancy survey. Bluestone is the first VMDO project to deploy this new questionnaire, which asks staff questions about safety, community, health and wellness, and sustainability. Feedback on the design includes the following results—all of which exceeded CBE’s K-12 benchmark averages.

I feel this building promotes a sense of safety among it’s occupants

76%

90%

86%

This building fits well with the surrounding environment

This building is an asset to the community

93%

76%

60%

This building makes me feel connected to nature and the outdoors

This building encourages me to make more sustainable choices

This building makes me feel happy

How much do you agree or disagree with these statements?

Somewhat Agree

Somewhat Disagree

agree

Disagree

Strongly agree

Strongly Disagree

Neutral


B lu e s t o ne E le m e nt ar y S c h o o l H a rri s o n s b u rg Ci ty P u b li c Schools

Bluestone Elementary School

Benchmark : CBE Database Average

7 - Very Satisfied

6

5

4 - Neutral

3

2

te n anc e

ity ual

Ma in anl ine ss +

Aco u st

ic Q

Lig htin g

alit y Air

Qu

rm al C om for t The

g Offi ce Fur nis hin

ayo ut Offi ce L

ctio ntisf a

Cle

era l Sa Gen

Gen era l Sa tisf act

ion

- Bu

Wo rk

pla

ildi n

ce

g

1 - Very Dissatisfied

Predicted Energy Usage

Actual Energy Usage

70

400

60

200

600 Predicted

50

Actual

546 570

kWh

40 kWh

0

Predicted / Actual Energy Usage (2018)

30

20

10

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Energy Consumption Breakdown

800

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VMDO Architects vmdo.com | 434.296.5684 200 E Market St Charlottesville, VA 22902 1200 18th Street NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036

For more information on K-12 Education work please contact:

For more information on Bluestone Elementary School please contact:

Bob Moje, FAIA, LEED AP moje@vmdo.com

Kelly Callahan, AIA callahan@vmdo.com

Wyck Knox, AIA, LEED AP knox@vmdo.com

Bryce Powell, AIA, LEED AP BD+C powell@vmdo.com

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Bluestone Elementary School  

Bluestone Elementary School