It’s no surprise that forward-thinking schools think outside of the box when it comes to student curriculum. But many schools take out-of-the-box thinking one step further, applying it to the building envelope of the school.
And why not? Curriculum is shifting, subjects are blending and methods for engaging students are changing — many facilities are adapting to the increasing demands of collaborative learning, project-based instruction and technology.
Such a school is under construction on the banks of the French Broad River in Woodfin, North Carolina, next to Woodfin’s river park on a little more than three acres of land that was donated to the school. The French Broad River Academy (FBRA) is designed using two Deltec structures that will be raised 12 feet on pilings, allowing water to move under the building in the event of flooding. The project should be completed by Summer 2015, according to director of the FBRA, Will Yeiser.
FBRA teaches North Carolina’s essential standards and the common core curriculum, but also uses the river to boost confidence and teach other skills.
“The close proximity of the buildings to the water created challenges in the design of both the site and the structure. We elevated the building up well beyond the required heights so in a flood event the buildings will remain unharmed, with the added benefit of the classrooms enjoying a great view of the French Broad River,” architect Robert Todd said.
Said Steve Linton, president of Deltec Homes, “The Deltec structure has a strong track record in creating an excellent learning environment that is built to last. Our collaboration with FBRA and the architect led to an entirely new Deltec structure that allows the school a space much larger than a standard Deltec, all while maintaining a high level of affordability for a high-performance commercial structure.”
The new facility will have about 10,000 square feet. The Deltec structures, which are enlarged versions of Deltec’s popular Crescent Chalet design, will enhance the rigorous curriculum with classroom spaces, but also the outdoor component and the experiential learning at the school. One building will have nine classrooms and office space, while the second building will be a multipurpose building, used as a performance space and indoor space for physical education classes.
From its opening in the fall of 2009 with six students, the boys school now has 68 students. All were present in January to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony of the new structure, when students, parents, and school and city officials took shovels in hand to mark the beginning of construction.
Said Linton, “The collaboration with the FBRA team has been exhilarating. We are confident that the FBRA students will be well supported in achieving the school’s mission of building character and integrity – also built to last for a lifetime.”
Top: Red Studio rendering of French Broad River Academy
Bottom: Rendering; Students enthusiastically wield shovels at the groundbreaking ceremony