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For Immediate Release
March 10, 2004
Contact: Charles Pyle/DOE
(804) 371-2420
Julie Grimes/DOE
(804) 225-2775

Facilities Conference Explores Impact of
No Child Left Behind Act

Four Schools Win Architectural Awards

The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 and its impact on educational facilities was one of the many sessions offered at the Virginia Educational Facility Planners Annual Conference. The Virginia Department of Education sponsored conference and exhibit was held February 23-24 at the Hotel Roanoke Conference Center in Roanoke.

“While a great deal of public attention concerning NCLB has focused on curriculum, standards, and accountability, school facilities often have been overlooked,” said Dr. Patricia I Wright, assistant superintendent of instruction. “When considering variables that can impact student achievement and teacher recruitment and retention, we must not overlook the importance of educational facilities that are safe and conducive to teaching and learning."

During the conference, four schools were recognized for architectural excellence. The honored schools include two new and two renovated schools. Three jurors from outside Virginia selected the winning schools from among 13 entries. The winners and jurors’ comments are as follows:

· New Construction, PK-5: Appomattox Elementary School, Appomattox County Public Schools, Dr. Walter F. Krug, superintendent, VMDO Architects, architect.
Angled wings appeared affordable and worked well, allowing courtyards to open up. [Design affords] good special interaction, [which] adapted well to site.

· Renovation/Addition, PK-5: Fairfield Elementary School, Rockbridge County Public Schools, Dr. John Burks, superintendent, Spectrum Design, architects.
[We were] excited by [the] use of Geothermal [that was] well thought out with a view to the future. Corridors are … functional. [We] appreciated the detailed classrooms. [Design provided] good economical solution with aesthetics to a rural environment. [The] well-landscaped courtyards for outdoor learning are excellent.

· New Construction, 6-12: Powhatan High School, Powhatan County Public Schools, Dr. Margaret S. Meara, superintendent, BCWH Architects, architect.
[This design offers] good separation of academic and core facilities for community use. [The] compact [design affords] cost savings [while providing] integration of disciplines. [The school exhibits] good value in main street design.

· Renovation/Addition, 6-12: Carter G. Woodson Middle School, Hopewell City Public Schools, Dr. Winston O. Odom, superintendent, Moseley Architects, architect.
[This presents an] excellent solution for tying together [the] existing building. Clear interior circulation [was realized while] working with difficult existing conditions. [The design offers] nice attention to detail and day lighting of corridors. A new face to the school is a significant improvement.

The winning school divisions and architects were awarded plaques. For more information, contact A.K. “Vijay” Ramnarain, architectural consultant with the Department of Education, (804) 225-2035.