Discovery STEM Academy
Local > AIA Potomac Valley > Institutional Architecture (AIA Potomac Valley)
PROJECT Discovery STEM Academy
LOCATION Newport News, Virginia, US
PROJECT COMPLETION DATE 9/1/2016
ARCHITECT Grimm + Parker Architects
OWNER/CLIENT Newport News Public Schools
CONTRACTOR / CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Oyster Point Construction
PHOTOGRAPHER Sam Kittner
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN TEAM John Hill, Paul Klee, Dave Whale, Kathleen O’Hearn, Houda Boudjemaa, Alexandra Struble, Kathleen O’Hearn
SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
Located in a low-rise urban area in Newport News, Virginia, the new Discovery STEM Academy Elementary School replaces the existing primary school located at 1712 Chestnut Avenue, and serves a capacity of 800 students in grades Pre-K through 5. The new school embraces Newport News Public Schools’ (NNPS) significant STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) pedagogical initiative where learning spaces facilitate learner-centered, student-driven, real-world, project-based learning. These environments promote a “learning revolution” by focusing on the whole person and where students are challenged to be innovative, adaptable, and to operate in collaborative ways. The design of the school promotes the idea that students should be exposed to holistic learning opportunities that advance their intellect, health, and spirit. The four fundamental principles intended to promote a holistic student are Leadership, Nutrition, Fitness, and Discovery.
The new three-story building is located on the northern edge of the site, facing Chestnut Avenue. Early on in the process it was determined that it was critical for the new school to address the historical significance of Chestnut Avenue within the community. The compact building footprint was configured in part by the constraints of facing Chestnut Avenue and the limited site area available that faces Chestnut Avenue while the existing school is still in place.
With the compact multi-story footprint of the new school, green space will be given back to the school and the community. The existing school facility was demolished and replaced with a new ball field, playground structures and paved play areas, creating a large community green space at the prominent corner of Chestnut Avenue and 17th Street. An outdoor classroom, an outdoor learning area, an amphitheater, a student vegetable garden, and kindergarten play areas are located on the site in courtyards adjacent to the building.
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IMAGE CAPTIONS & CREDITS
IMAGE 1 Discovery STEM Academy_thumbnail, Exterior Rendering - Edible Garden, Grimm + Parker Architects
IMAGE 2 Discovery STEM Academy_high res, Exterior Rendering - Outdoor Learning, Grimm + Parker Architects
IMAGE 3 Discovery STEM Academy_high res int, Tinker Lab, © Sam Kittner/Kittner.com
IMAGE 4 Discovery STEM Academy_IMG 4, Learning Lane - Community, © Sam Kittner/Kittner.com
IMAGE 5 Discovery STEM Academy_IMG 5, Nutrition Lab, © Sam Kittner/Kittner.com
IMAGE 6 Discovery STEM Academy_IMG 6, Learning Lane - Student Gallery, Grimm + Parker Architects
IMAGE 7 Discovery STEM Academy_IMG 7, Learning Studio, © Sam Kittner/Kittner.com
IMAGE 8 Discovery STEM Academy_IMG 8, Learning Studio, © Sam Kittner/Kittner.com