Wando Center for Advanced Studies, the new school created by Charleston County School District and designed by architecture firm LS3P, celebrated its dedication at a September 25th ceremony. The three-story building, which opened last month on the campus of Wando High School, features specialized spaces for advanced classes in programs such as broadcasting, horticulture, cosmetology, biomedical engineering, and automotive technology. Programs will prepare students for college or careers, and the center accommodates 600 high school juniors and seniors.
In support of this unique curriculum, the new 3-story, 125,000 SF academic facility is designed with a college campus feel rather than a typical K-12 atmosphere. The transparency of the classrooms showcases the skills being taught in each program area, and allows abundant natural light in the interior spaces. A 3-story atrium with a high-tech video display creates a welcome and inspiring entry. The building’s exterior features sleek metal and glass panels which contrast with brick walls, reflecting the contemporary and dynamic nature of the programs taking place inside.
LS3P Principal David Burt, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is delighted with the project. “We want to thank Charleston County School District for allowing LS3P the opportunity to partner as the design team leader for this unique and exciting 21st century learning environment,” Burt says. “The Center for Advanced Studies Building at Wando represents a new direction in educational opportunities in Charleston County. It will not only advance the students of our community with new skills being offered, but it will also help to bring in new businesses to employ those students.”
With an eye towards efficiency, environmental sustainability, and a more effective learning environment, the building features daylighting strategies, a high-efficiency mechanical system, a rooftop teaching garden, and a cistern to collect rainwater for irrigation. Low-flow plumbing fixtures help to conserve water, while bike racks, showers, and assigned parking spaces for fuel-efficient vehicles encourage alternative transportation.
Founded in 1963, LS3P was named Southeast Design Firm of the Year for 2014 by Engineering News Record (ENR). A design firm with regional roots and a national reach, LS3P operates from its 6 offices in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, SC and Charlotte, Raleigh and Wilmington, NC, providing architecture, interior architecture, and planning services. LS3P is deeply committed to the communities in which it serves, with over 400 design awards in diverse practice areas. For more information on LS3P, visit www.ls3p.com.
Photo credit: LS3P/Matt Silk