• Announcements

    • Neo

      WARNING!   07/26/16

      By reading or participating in the Coffee House forum, you are acknowledging that some topics may be highly controversial in nature. While we make every attempt to ensure that no one and no groups are offended as a result of discussions contained within, we unfortunately can make no guarantees. Participate in threads contained within this forum at your own risk.

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

peaceloveunderstanding

Urban Schools

Recommended Posts


CMS need to build more urban styled schools instead of multi one story buildings scattered across acres and acres of fields. I like how schools up North look like, 3 to 5 stories high, in matter of fact, the old 2nd Ward High did resemble those schools up North.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CMS need to build more urban styled schools instead of multi one story buildings scattered across acres and acres of fields. I like how schools up North look like, 3 to 5 stories high, in matter of fact, the old 2nd Ward High did resemble those schools up North.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i agree. many of the older schools in charlotte are the same (for example, take a look at Piedmont Middle School and Elizabeth Middle School from my photo threads). The new First Ward elementary school is the only new-build school i can think of that has multiple stories like a traditional school.

I'm a little frustrated that they make schools 1 level now. Even Metro School, which is supposed to be the urban school, is mostly one level. There are few small sections that have stairs for a loft or something, such as in the office, and the basement is parking... but it is still roughly a 1 level school. High Schools are now built a massive sprawling single story complexes. I have read that it is primarily for ease of evacuation in the post-columbine world.

Anyway... as far as office space, they should definitely just take advantage of their suburban property, such as surplus space on their school property or in an obsolete school. I agree that selling off the 2nd ward land could easily fund the new office space and possibly part of a school or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a little frustrated that they make schools 1 level now.  Even Metro School, which is supposed to be the urban school, is mostly one level.  There are few small sections that have stairs for a loft or something, such as in the office, and the basement is parking... but it is still roughly a 1 level school.    High Schools are now built a massive sprawling single story complexes.  I have read that it is primarily for ease of evacuation in the post-columbine world.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Metro school is probably only 1 story because the children are physicaly and/or mentaly challenged. I know some are in wheelchairs, so steps are out and elevators are just not realistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree, that was probably a major consideration, although they could have been creative with ramps and such. i don't mean to complain too much about the metro school, it still is a good urban design, and just the fact that they are reconnecting the grid around the block makes up for most any other negatives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my highschool was 3 stories and in Charlotte, but not CMS.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i think it is a recent trend for public schools. it is obviously not 100% or anything, but almost all the schools being built in CMS are single story.

At least the windowless classroom trend seems to have gone away, where classrooms are inside the building with no natural light. being single story isn't that bad... it is just ashame that some of the quaint attractive academic looking schools are no longer being built.... they are now just wide sprawling boxes.

anyone ever seen Reynolds high school in Winston-Salem... now THAT is an attractive school! (built in the 1920s)

NewIndexRJR.gif

FSLO-1079195834-396112.gif

contrast that to these high schools in charlotte:

vance.blue.jpg

independence.jpg

:). sorry for pushing us further off topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even middle schools in Winston-Salem are more than one story, well I seen most public schools in Winston-Salem, I live there during most of the year, I attend WSSU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to East Meck, and it was actually refreshing having a sprawling school... Nice to have a walk outside after sitting in a classroom for 90 minutes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

anyone ever seen Reynolds high school in Winston-Salem... now THAT is an attractive school! (built in the 1920s)

NewIndexRJR.gif

FSLO-1079195834-396112.gif

That's my alma mater you're praising there. :lol: The insides of the buildings are just as cool, as well as the grounds. It sits on a hill overlooking a very attractive part of the city, including a view of downtown. Schools like that have the power to draw people back for the next generation. That's how I ended up there, and I hope to be able to move back there by the time I have young 'uns old enough to attend and I know of many others who have the same plans.

So yeah, getting sort of back on topic sort of... Charlotte needs a Reynolds. :thumbsup:

and uhh... Adam's Mark needs to go down!! :w00t:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There has some discussion in other threads about urban schools, so i decided to make a separate thread to discuss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are generally limited in most cases to buildings where you can move students on stairs. When a period changes you literally have just a few minutes to move a couple of thousand people in a very short amount of time. This is something that most building designs don't have to consider and while you can accomplish it with high speed high capacity escallators and elevators, the expense just does not make sense.

So right off the bat you are never going to see a new school built by CMS that is more than 3 stories tall, and mostly likely they are going to be one level because it is simply cheaper and safer to build them that way and meet all of the federal requirements for access.

BTW the voters in the early 90s voted down a CMS Bond Referendum (one of the very few times they have turned down CMS) that would have converted the abandoned Ivey's building on N. Tryon into an urban performing arts magnet highschool. The people did not want to spend so much money on such a small HS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Urban, multi-story school construction is not dead in North Carolina. Check out the Moore Square Museums Magnet Middle in Raleigh opened in 2002, and is in a very modern-looking building on a city block near to the center of downtown. It's three stories tall, with one floor for each grade, 6th-8th. There are obvious space limitations so they only have enough gym and field space for PE and intramural sports (no intrascholastic athletics) but since it's a magnet school the students are there by choice - theirs or their parents - and probably don't mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the first ward elementary school in downtown charlotte was recently built, and is urban and attractive...3 stories brick with some attempt at human scale and interesting design elements. It is rarity, though.

4.JPG

most schools in charlotte tend to look like a business park buildings:

2.JPG

or

10.jpg

or

16.jpg

I agree that much of it is the obvious: lower cost for ada compliance, and enough room on sprawling suburban land.

To me, though, there is something about a attractive, quaint little school building like:

09.jpg

or

some of the other schools like Piemont Middle or Elizabeth Elementary. These old schools are from pre-WWII neighborhoods, and are not only attractive, but scaled in a way that somehow is endearing and uplifting, rather than shipping your kid to a warehouse for processing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

School design is a tricky issue. CMS dictates what the building will look like. For a long time, they said all new schools had to have peaked roofs (like above), now they want flat roofs (fewer leaks and maintenance).

What I really think is interesting is that most new CMS schools are more forward thinking design-wise than all of the new buildings at UNC Charlotte (which just happens to have a very good College of Architecture). While UNCC tries to relive the past by bricking up the Atkins Library tower (what a waste of money), CMS has built some cool stuff like First Ward, and the really neat Technology High School on Allegheny St (off Freedom Dr).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree about the library at UNCC. It was one of the most horrible recladdings that I have ever seen. They took a great looking building and made it look very unremarkable. In fact I think it is quite hideous now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shame on you for including the Stata Center at MIT......IMO, the best instiutional building in the last 75 years.

I don't even mind the residential hall at MIT either......the commentator did however point out the poor streetscape, though I'm not sure that it has been completed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mom and sister-in-law were CMS elementary school teachers and they told me years ago that it was either the law or CMS rule that NEW elementary schools could not have more than one story for safety reasons. You don't want to have to evacuate 1,000 kindergartners from the 2nd or 3rd story during a fire drill. Now for middle and high schoolers, it's another story. I can't remember what they said was the exact age cut off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't believe it is a law that they are one story, but it is an extreme bias. i think it is a shame. For one thing, it eliminates a major chance for ambient exercise for kids... but also it is just another way of creating a sterile environment reminiscent of a prison. No wood, no stairs, no embellishments... sigh.

those kuntsler links are pretty funny. i agree stata is a cool building, but even needs some criticism for failing to consider the human element.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say I agreed with his opinions. I just thought they were funny.

These are off topic but they are funny too

http://www.kunstler.com/eyesore_200309.html

http://www.kunstler.com/eyesore_200307.html

Dissing the batman building

http://www.kunstler.com/eyesore_200210.html

But these are the funniest things I have ever seen

http://www.kunstler.com/eyesore_200304.html

http://www.kunstler.com/eyesore_199908.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW the voters in the early 90s voted down a CMS Bond Referendum (one of the very few times they have turned down CMS) that would have converted the abandoned Ivey's building on N. Tryon into an urban performing arts magnet highschool.  The people did not want to spend so much money on such a small HS.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's too bad, Ivey's High School would have been cool. But the magnet schools tend to be in the not-so-nice neighborhoods (case in point: Phillip O Berry, Northwest School of the Arts).. and if they had built a HS downtown, then what would become of those schools in those neighborhoods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.