Baldwin Elementary & Intermediate School

Manassas, Virginia

  • FIRM

    Moseley Architects

  • CLIENT

    Manassas City Public Schools

  • AREA

    140,000 sq.ft.

  • TOTAL COST

    $32,873,480.00

  • COMPLETION DATE

    12/2016

Design team: Ross France, PC (Civil Engineering); WDP & Associates (Geotechnical Engineering); Cooperative Strategies (Educational Planning)

Baldwin features 21st-century learning spaces for students in kindergarten through sixth grade and replaces a facility built in 1958.
The three-story facility uses corridors as extended learning spaces that still ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$235.00FEATURED IN2018 Architectural Portfolio room for circulation and egress. These spaces include smart projectors as well as monitors with operable glass partitions for small group, project-based learning opportunities. Teachers can simultaneously have small groups outside a classroom and larger groups within a classroom while monitoring both. When these areas are not in use, the space flexes for individual teacher and student discussions, impromptu staff meetings, or joint class collaborations.
The media center, on the second floor, has an open-floor plan. Daylight from the front of the building and from clerestory windows in the dining rooms floods the center. An adjacent outdoor terrace provides space for study and socialization.
During the design process, students cited color as a way to make learning fun. This resulted in bold interior features used to facilitate learning and foster an exciting environment. These include a bright color palette and unique furniture designs. The media center uses turquoise, lime green, navy blue, and yellow colors to stimulate students. To identify the intermediate students’ extended learning labs, the fifth and sixth grade wings are painted with mature colors to diversify the building’s palette. The elementary school’s extended learning labs also feature dedicated, primary colors to identify each grade level.
The design also considers how spaces can be converted, without major capital expense, to serve evolving needs and pedagogies. When the school opened, students were in grades kindergarten through fourth grade. As students aged into the fifth and sixth grades, they filled the third floor’s extended learning labs.
Because the new school offers a compact footprint and was built on the former operations office site and a high school baseball field, it was constructed without leveling existing structures or removing trees. These design choices minimized the schools’ impact on the local ecosystem. Upon completion, the original Baldwin Elementary School was demolished, and permanent ball fields replaced the former school site.