Occupying the upper portion of Barrie’s 43-acre site, the new Lower School facility will replace the current Lower School facilities. The new Lower School builds off of the earlier campus master planning exercise HCM led, and creates three new structures to house the approximately 55,000 sf program. The first building, a 29,000 sf, 3-story structure, will contain the classrooms for the upper and lower elementary students, along with the library/media center, a roof-top environmental lab, and the central administrative functions. There is also a large community gallery/gathering space that overlooks the media center and out to the landscape beyond.
The award winninng, multi-story design responds to the many site and environmental features, including solar orientation, the steep slopes, and the natural ecological paths of water and wildlife. These and other environmental features heavily influenced the design of the buildings and site, and serve as learning opportunities, both active and passive. In 2011, the American Institute of Architects, Baltimore awarded the Lower School a Design Excellence Award Honorable Mention for Unbuilt Architecture. In September 2012, AIA Maryland awarded the project an Excellence in Design Citation for Unbuilt Architecture – Commissioned.