Jefferson County High School (JCHS), a school like many in our region that face severe overcrowding and the effects of rapidly aging buildings, received the 2016 Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA) School of the Year Award for Excellence in Design for Renovations and Additions. TSBA confers this award to school boards and architectural firms for distinction in the design of primary and secondary school facilities.
Since its original construction in 1973, Jefferson County High School had gone with no significant facility upgrades but continued to experience 42 years of physical wear and tear, deterioration of building systems, shifts in curriculum, and changes to code-required building standards. Increased pressure from decades of enrollment increases forced JCHS to operate a de facto freshman academy out of 13 portable classrooms on the school grounds. JCHS was in many ways outdated and below current standards.
To help solve these problems, Jefferson County Schools, under the direction of Dr. Charles Edmonds, turned to Knoxville firm Lewis Group Architects (LGA).
“In our work we see patterns happening in public education facilities. School systems trying to fit more students in existing facilities which are already deteriorating. But since administrators often don’t have enough funds to address all their problems simultaneously, we have to help them prioritize problems and find one-time, long-term solutions instead of stop gap measures,” said Doug Shover, LGA’s Education Studio Director.
LGA’s Education Studio completed assessments of the existing facility and made recommendations about how to best use financial and architectural resources to serve teachers and students in the immediate and long-term future.
The challenges facing JCHS required a multifaceted solution. The first step was the design of a new freshman academy, named the Patriot Academy, which was constructed on a separate, nearby campus. This allowed the relocation of freshman students from crowded portables to a campus of their own. Reduced enrollment pressure on the existing high school afforded an opportunity to address urgent facility upgrades and provide new resources such as a long overdue home for the high school’s highly accomplished performing arts program – which was cut from original school construction in 1973 due to budget constraints.
The renovations - totaling 241,850 square feet - significantly enhanced the learning and working environment for students and staff by improving life-safety conditions, improving indoor air quality, providing better acoustical conditions, creating more instructional space by redistributing classrooms, and improving the use of the campus during school and after hours. The value of this work resonated with the award jury.
The additions - totaling 43,900 square feet - included a new administration area with increased security and access control, a new lobby and expansion of the commons area, a small addition for the physical education and ROTC departments, and a substantial performing & visual arts addition. The Performing and Visual Arts Center, which is a focal point for community life, includes 635 seat auditorium, band room, chorus room, rehearsal spaces, three art classrooms, a digital arts lab, and a drama classroom.
Completed in 2016, the 36 month construction process was successfully phased to avoid any interruptions to the day-to-day operations of the school.
Jefferson County Schools and Lewis Group Architects were also conferred a School of the Year Award for Patriot Academy in 2014. This year’s award makes the 12th TSBA School of the Year Award for LGA who received the Award in New Construction in 2015 for Alcoa High School.
Lewis Group Architects celebrates Park(ing) Day! Park(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers, and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. Our theme this year was to turn a metered space into a dog park! So, LGA teamed up with Young Williams Animal Shelter to provide a dog park in the middle of Market Square for the day. Our talented designers transformed our space into a tennis ball themed park for dogs to help promote the YWAS mission. LGA used recycable carpet tiles and tennis balls that will be donated to Knox County Schools to be used for classroom chairs. This event was a huge success and we would like to thank all those that helped donate time and materials.
Alcoa High School has been named the state’s best designed new school.
To continue reading, please click the link to The Daily Times of Maryville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE — After years of delay, a new University of Tennessee audiology and speech pathology building should begin rising out of the ground at the UT Medical Center complex off Alcoa Highway in Knoxville by next summer.
To read more, please follow the link provided by Knoxville News Sentinel
In order to change the way that the world sees aging, it is important to not just implement The Green House model, but also to sustain it. Through experience and research, we have found that this occurs most successfully when culture change exists throughout the organization, not just within The Green House homes.
Almost 2,000 students head back to class to at Alcoa City Schools, which includes the opening of the new Alcoa High School.
The $33 million building is new this school year, and has been in the works for three years.
The 180,000 square foot building can hold up to 1,000 students, whereas the old high school could hold about 600.
To read more, follow the link provided by WBIR
Over 10 years ago, LGA called on Alcoa City Schools with the hopes of developing a long lasting relationship. With a strong dedication from our Business Development Leader, we continued to build on that relationship and as of yesterday morning, Alcoa City Schools celebrated their ribbon cutting for the brand new Alcoa High School. LGA is extremely proud to be the architect of record for such an unbelievably dedicated school system. To continue reading, please click the link to The Daily Times of Maryville, Tenn.
Nearly 600 Alcoa High School students’ timing couldn’t be better, as they’ll be the first group to attend grades 9-12 in a new $33.5 million building when school starts July 30.
Follow the link provided by the Knoxville New Sentinel for a video.
LGA lost a member of the family over the weekend. Tom Rinehart had been with LGA since 2006 and was one of the best spec writers in the entire state of Tennessee. He will be missed by many in the architectural and construction community. Our deepest sympathies go out to his entire family. Tom Rinehart 3/11/51 - 5/25/15
Born in Mansfield, Ohio Tom Rinehart graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1974 and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee shortly after. He worked for Cooper and Perry Architects on projects including the new Henderson Hall for Carson Newman College and the Renovation of Hodges Library for The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Tom became a Certified Construction Specifier in 1986 while at Bullock Smith & Partners, Inc. where he maintained the office master specification and provided specifications for projects. He became a Certified Construction Contract Administrator in 1999 while at Architectural Services Group, Inc. where he also provided project administration for numerous projects.
Tom joined The Lewis Group Architects, Inc. in 2006 where he maintained the office master specification, wrote specifications for projects, provided construction administration, and reviewed projects for zoning and code compliance. He achieved LEED AP BD+C accreditation in 2012. He was also a member of American Institute of Architects, Construction Specifications Insitute, and the U.S. Green Building Council.
An architect has been chosen to begin work on a new classroom building at Lake Forest Middle School.
During a meeting Monday afternoon, the Bradley County Board of Education voted to have The Lewis Group architectural firm begin work on designs for a new academic building.
Board members heard presentations from representatives of The Lewis Group of Knoxville, Cope Architecture of Knoxville and TWH architects of Chattanooga.
To read more, follow the link provided by the Cleveland Daily Banner.