The New Wakefield
At the March 11 Schoolboard meeting, Bowie and Gridley Architects (known for their work on several high profile educational projects) and APS staff presented the final design for the new Wakefield Highschool. The presentation of the final proposal also marks the conclusion of a long process of public input and deliberation on the “New Wakefield”. The $107 Million project covers the construction of the new Highschool and a new Aquatics center at the intersection of S. George Mason Dr. and S. Dinwiddie St. (adjacent to the existing Highschool which will be demolished once the new building is completed).
It is expected that the new building will be bid in Fall 2011 and completed in 2013, practically at the same time it is expected that the new Arlington Mill Community Center will be finished. Both facilities are within walking distance from each other and represent significant public investment in the western section of the Columbia Pike corridor.
The design reflects current standards for a school population of 1,600 students. A large student commons establishes a symbolic center or “heart” for the school, complimented by smaller, informal gathering areas. Administrative spaces are distributed throughout the building to encourage student/adult interaction. The design, which incorporates many sustainable design features will be LEED Silver Certified.