Working closely with School System administrators and educators, our firm designed a new, innovative, “school within a school” program. This program targets seventh- through- twelfth- graders “at risk” of dropping out of school because they do not respond well to the typical classroom setting.

The teachers wanted flexible classrooms that could accommodate either a single teacher with twelve to fourteen students, or that could be combined for team teaching and “town meetings.” Because this facility was to be located within the school’s basement, the teachers were concerned with the space’s lack of natural daylight, low ceiling heights, and general lack of ambiance.

The design of the facility contains three “zones”— a zigzag ribbon of teachers’ offices and open study carrels that separates a single- loaded corridor from the classrooms. The design of the facility allows for several scales of instruction. Three of the classrooms are divided by operable partitions, which allows for flexibility and larger groups. The study carrels and seating areas, scattered along the corridor and in the classrooms, allow the teachers smaller areas in which to tutor one or two students. The use of interior glazing allows natural daylight to enter the spaces, and also allows the teachers to monitor the students.

Dr. Glenn Burdick, Former Superintendent


  • Builder: Lantz Construction Company of Winchester, Inc., Winchester, Virginia
  • Structural Engineer: Structural Concepts, Inc., Winchester, Virginia
  • Mechanical Engineer: Dwyer Engineering, Leesburg, Virginia
  • Photographer: Hoachlander Davis Photography, Washington, D.C.