Community High School, Buncombe County Schools

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The program for Community High School consists of a new 40,000 SF, two-story classroom addition, as well as renovations to the existing gymnasium and classroom facilities originally built in 1926. The existing classroom wing will be converted into a double height multipurpose space, food lab, and support facilities.

Currently the school serves between 120 to 200 students annually and will staff approximately 30 faculty members including administration staff and visiting professionals. Community High School will focus on smaller class sizes to allow for more individualized learning and will house unique programs not found in any other school within the Buncombe County school system. Among the programs unique to Community High is a self-contained daycare facility that will be made available to both the student population and the surrounding community.

Having served as a landmark in Swannanoa, NC for over 90 years it was felt that preservation of existing elements and thoughtful integration of new construction was vital to both the success of the project and the surrounding community. Visual cues from the existing school were taken into consideration while designing the classroom addition. To create a harmonious union between the two structures; existing building heights, massing rhythms, window spacing, and material color are echoed in the design concept. The existing school and the addition are then linked by a glass connector which serves as a transition between old and new. The end result is a facility that both students and the community can take pride in.

Phase one of the project was completed in 2019.