College Park Elementary School has been designed as the next generation of prototypical schools in Virginia Beach. The building is 94 thousand square feet and sits on a 15 acre site bordered by residential neighbors on all sides.
It has been awarded a LEED Platinum rating for environmental stewardship that boasts zero storm water runoff through rainwater collection, rain gardens, geothermal wells and cisterns. WPL was the Landscape Architecture Sub-Consultant responsible for sustainable site planning, sustainable planting design, LEED documentation and construction administration.
Early in the planning, WPL worked with the surrounding homeowners to form a neighborhood connection to the school as well as the schools presence in the community. From pedestrian circulation, open area recreation and perimeter buffers, a positive link has been established.
The school curriculum focused on hands on learning and sustainable experiences for the students. WPL worked with the architect and civil engineer to harvest parking lot storm water and rainwater from the roof into a courtyard bio-retention featuring overlooks and decks for the students to observe and teachers to use for project based learning.
The plantings for the site were native and adapted species selected for diverse purposes. The bio-retention area plantings control the contaminants and sedimentation from roof and parking lot runoff. The buffers around the perimeter help to screen the community and define the circulation and recreation areas. The perimeter plantings anchor the site seamlessly into the landscape of the community.