Blue Ridge Elementary School, School District of Oconee County

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Carefully sited on 55 acres, Blue Ridge Elementary school was a collaborative effort to serve as a community asset and provide opportunities for future development for the City of Seneca and Oconee County. A cooperative master planning effort led by the School District of Oconee County and McMillan Pazdan Smith encouraged dialogue on shared spaces, with future goals for a new Public Library for the County and a Baseball Recreation Complex for the City.

Design team members also gathered significant input from the constituencies of two existing city schools slated to use the new facility, bringing both communities together. The resulting design incorporated their needs for community access to public use spaces such as the cafetorium, gymnasium, media center, and computer labs after school hours. The design successfully addresses security needs and captured the characteristics and personality of previous schools using materials and a series of distinctive architectural tower elements. Designed for 750 pre-k through fifth graders, the 102,000 SF school is expandable to meet the needs of up to 1,000 students.