Two ground breakings for elementary schools continue the collaborative efforts of the Mayor, City Council and School Board to ‘build a better Richmond.’
We have an obligation to ensure that our schools provide children with world-class skills and knowledge,” says Mayor Dwight C. Jones. He envisions the two new schools as being “models of innovation and creativity in urban education.”
VMDO Architects, headquartered in Charlottesville, is the architecture firm for the schools. VMDO held several spring meetings with the Richmond Public Schools’ design team, community parents and the schools’ principals to discuss programming and corresponding education specifications.
With an eye toward future requirements, during the community meetings for both schools the architects stressed that the new facilities “would be equipped to handle technological changes and trends for the next 15+ years.”
The November 13th ground breaking, and initial utility construction, launched the Broad Rock Elementary School (BRES) project-the design and construction of a new 650-pupil facility on the school’s current site. Demolition of the existing building and final site activities will be complete around the end of that same year.
“This new environment will also promote a sense of pride and school spirit among students as they are given an opportunity to explore new technologies, sporting events, cultural and physical education activities that were not available,” says Carmen Rush, principal of BRES.
The other new 650-pupil facility, the Oak Grove Elementary School (OGES) project, broke ground November 30th on the site of the Bellemeade/Oak Grove annex and the Bellemeade Recreation Center.
OGES principal Jannie Laursen says, “I’m excited to participate in this unique opportunity of contributing to the development of a community school that will set the standard for the 21st century. The technologically advanced ‘green’ school will stand as a beacon in our community, lighting the way for new hope and prosperity.”
Remaining construction for both schools is scheduled to start in the spring with completion projected by May 2012 in anticipation of the first day of classes in August 2012.