Supplying students in South Carolina with inventive educational facilities
Students need educational facilities that keep the future in mind. Horry County—the third largest school district in South Carolina—serves over 39,000 current students in 51 schools. But that wasn’t enough. They needed more. More schools. Better features.
The aim was to design prototypes for elementary and middle schools that supported 21st-century educational aims—while also reducing operational costs as much as possible. Partnered with SfL+A Architects and Mozingo + Wallace, we focused on ways to nurture freedom and responsibility within a safe, controlled setting. There also had to be flexibility, greater visibility, and access to technology.
The five prototypes (four middle schools and one elementary school) saved on costs by using energy-positive designs that actually return energy into the grid. The facilities generate more energy than is consumed through a combination of geothermal systems, on-site photovoltaics, LED lighting, building automation, and superior building envelopes. The designs include open dining options, modular learning opportunities, and a shared media commons.
Site-adaptable and flexible, these new schools can accommodate future growth, and they support multi-modal learning in a variety of settings. The new facilities will be landmarks in their communities—testaments to Horry County’s focus on the future.
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