B.D. Lee Elementary School, Cherokee County School District
The new B.D. Lee Elementary School was originally constructed as a two-story, 90,000 SF school on the site of the existing facility to accommodate 500 students in 3K through 5K, and first through fifth grades. The existing building was located on the upper plateau of the two-level site, so the new facility was constructed on the lower acreage, thus allowing the school to stay continuously in session on the same site. The building is organized in two distinct academic zones to provide natural sound buffering. Specialty spaces such as the gymnasium, cafetorium, and the exploratory classrooms of art, music, and science are in one zone, while the classrooms occupy the other.
The building is also designed to take programmatic advantage of the change in grade with distinctly separate traffic circulation patterns. Covered car drop-off and pick-up is on the lower level with direct covered access for the kindergarten students directly at their classrooms, and for the elementary students at the gymnasium. Bus drop-off and pick-up is handled on the upper level with pedestrian bridge access directly adjacent to the classroom zone and to administration. Fenced playgrounds for all kindergarten students are alongside their classrooms, and the elementary students have their own fenced playground that includes a basketball court.