The new Dundalk and Sollers Point High Schools is the largest single project ever undertaken by the Baltimore County Public School system at a size of 349,365-SF with the capacity of 1,857 students. A unique combination of two types of high schools—one comprehensive (Dundalk) and one technical (Sollers Point)—design of the new complex focused on giving each school its own identity, while capitalizing on shared spaces to maximize efficiency.
The architectural language of the exterior of this new complex tells the story of the merge of two schools into one. The materials used are contextual to community; the comprehensive high school’s brick masonry pays homage to the old school building, while the insulated translucent panel housing the technical high school represents the pioneering tradition of a community that built itself around the steel industry.
Building and site design forge strong pedestrian connections to the surrounding neighborhoods, including physical alignment with the neighboring community college, allowing for the educational link between the institutions to grow stronger as students and faculty walk back and forth.
Design of the facility likened the two high schools to a city street. While each side has different activities and personality, there is commonality within the shared spaces between, where people and ideas interact and form a collective. Organized around this central spine, which houses a common media center, cafeteria, auditorium, and gymnasium, daylight shines down this central core through clerestories, providing a visual connector along virtually the entire length of the building, enhancing wayfinding and making the large facility easily navigable.
Exhibits in the lobby and imagery that flows through the cafeteria and corridors illustrate the rich history of the neighborhoods the schools serve, allowing the complex to engage the community by serving as a place of remembrance and preservation.
The program for the comprehensive high school includes general and special education classrooms, science laboratories, art studios, music instructional and practice spaces, JrROTC facilities and specialized spaces for Criminal Justice and Homeland Security/Air Traffic Control programs. The technical high school’s facilities include classrooms and specialty spaces to accommodate the culinary arts, cosmetology, construction, engineering technology, allied health, information technology, automotive and maritime studies.