For the first time in nearly a decade, a K-12 facility from the Southeast Region has been selected by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) as a finalist for the organization’s national James D. MacConnell award. Greenville County Schools’ Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School is one of four finalists for this prestigious national award, CEFPI’s highest recognition of excellence in school facility planning and design across the United States.
Renee Alexander, AIA, BBT Architects and jury chair commented, “All of this year’s entries were exceptional, making it an extremely difficult task for the jury. These projects reflected the innovative school planning and design work that is moving beyond the traditional world of schools as we know them and inspiring transformation in education for tomorrow’s learners and leaders.”
Completed in 2013, Greenville County School’s first STEAM middle school is located on 27 acres adjacent to Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The three-story, 179,000 square-foot school serves 1,000 Greenville County middle school students through small learning communities, a research based curriculum and team teaching in flexible and adaptable spaces. By partnering closely with the District from initial planning through completion, the design team of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture and Fielding Nair International, a global educational planning expert and co-architect, were able to design a variety of indoor and outdoor learning spaces that demonstrate specific applications of math, science and engineering to students. The school officially opened its doors to students in August 2014.
Named for one of the most renowned school facility planners of the 20th century, the MacConnell Award is focused on the comprehensive planning process, including both the educational specifications and programs requirements as well as the actual architectural design.
Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School also received a statewide Honor Award at CEFPI’s South Carolina Chapter conference this March, marking McMillan Pazdan Smith’s 17th state-level CEFPI award in the past decade. This is the firm’s first project to be selected as a finalist for the national-level CEFPI MacConnell Award.