Thursday, November 20, 2008
The new elementary school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools system has been in the early planning stages. According to the following article, published in The Herald-Sun, school officials now have a better idea of what the school is going to be like.
Elementary No. 11 will be built on an eight-acre site between Caldwell and McMasters streets, where the former Orange County Training School is located. The size of the new elementary school hasn’t been determined yet, but Todd LoFrese, support services superintendent for CHCCS, said other school buildings in the county have typically been around 92,000 square feet. According to preliminary plans released by the district, one section of Elementary No. 11 would have three levels. Grades 3-5 would be on the upper level, grades 1-2 on the main level, and kindergarten and pre-kindergarten on the lower level. LoFrese explained that the plans call for the lower level to be built into the northwest portion of the site because of the way the land slopes. Northside residents have responded positively so far to having a school in their neighborhood, but the site does come with a few unique challenges. A wetlands buffer created by a stream that runs on the west side of the property restricts use to only six of the eight acres, LoFrese said, adding that a smaller site also makes it harder to find room for play areas, bus drop-offs and parent/visitor access. The architect for the project, Moseley Architects, designed the new Carrboro High School as well. Like that building, Elementary No. 11 will adhere to the district’s policies for energy conservation, water reduction, high-efficiency lighting and improved indoor air quality. LoFrese said that one of the things the committee looked at was how the building will be oriented on the site to maximize daylighting.
School board Vice Chairwoman Lisa Stuckey said the district has created better schools because of collaboration with residents, and she hopes that will also be the case with Elementary No. 11.