Stephens County High School is situated in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Toccoa, Ga. The 258,000-square-foot school was built on the existing high school site and consists of 65 classrooms, administration offices, a media center, student services, cafeteria, gymnasium and performing arts center. The school remained occupied during construction, CAPACITY1,126COST PER SQ FT$137.50FEATURED IN2013 Architectural Portfolio the architect worked with all parties to ensure a smooth transition for students.
Initial site design for the school called for a poured-in-place concrete retaining wall. However, the $3 million estimated cost had the design team looking at all options. Thinking outside the box, the architect modified the original plans with a pressure-relief retaining wall using on-site dirt, wire baskets and landscape fabrics. The resulting earth wall then was faced with decorative block, ultimately saving the client more than $2 million.
The project has been awarded LEED for Schools certification and recognized by the Regional Summit of USGBC for innovation in sustainability.