The new Colonial Beach Elementary School has finished construction and is ready to welcome students for the 2017-2018 school year. The 50,000 square-foot building replaces the original elementary school, which was destroyed by a fire in January 2014.
After spending several years in multiple modular classrooms behind the town’s high school, the new elementary school building will allow for the elementary school community to once again be housed under the same roof.
According to Mr. Tim Trivett, Chairman of the Colonial Beach School Board, the vision for the new elementary school began even before the fire that destroyed the building. After Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, the town was forced to close the elementary school until extensive repairs could be completed on the 100-year-old building. Students were moved into pods next to the old building. When the fire destroyed the old building, students had to be moved completely off the property. The School Board was determined to find a way to construct a new elementary school.
“Only after numerous conversations with Jack Clark of RRMM and collaboration with town officials has the project began to become a reality,” says Mr. Trivett. “After 14 months of construction, the dream has come to fruition and the town is ready for the ribbon cutting and a new chapter in our history.”
Designed by RRMM Architects, and built by Southwood Building Systems, the new Colonial Beach Elementary School will hold 400-450 students in grades Pre-K through 7.
The school has two main academic wings, with the first wing housing the younger students up to Grade 3, and the second wing housing Grades 4 through 7. In addition to two classrooms for each grade level, the building has a Media Center, Art Room, Music Room, and multiple resource and academic support spaces. The Gymnasium has a basketball court and a Stage, and the Gym and Cafeteria share an operable wall that allows both spaces to be quickly and easily combined for large group gatherings.
The $8 million building features a distinctive cupola over the main entrance, large classroom windows that allow daylight to stream in, and a fully-equipped kitchen for student meals.
“Drifter Pride runs deep in our community. Faculty, staff, and students strive to be productive, responsible and respectful every day,” says Ms. Michele Coates, Principal at Colonial Beach Elementary School. “Every feature was designed with students in mind and with the purpose of creating a better environment conducive for learning. We are excited to start the year and cannot wait to see how our students let their Drifter Pride shine within the walls of the new school!”
The new school is a much-anticipated addition to Colonial Beach’s close-knit community. The new building also pays homage to the community’s past by displaying several artifacts from the school building lost in the fire, including the school bell and a section of the gym floor with the painted center-court logo.
“The construction of the elementary school will benefit the school division as well as the community,” says Dr. Kevin Newman, the Superintendent of Schools. “It is our goal to make the new building the cornerstone of the town of Colonial Beach. The building was designed with intentions of the community being able to benefit from the use of the facility. We are excited for our students as days of having to walk in inclement weather to use the cafeteria or gymnasium are over. The school division and community will be impressed with the quality of the building that was designed by RRMM and constructed by Southwood.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Thursday, August 31, 2017.
About Colonial Beach School District
The Colonial Beach School District is an independent school division serving the residents of Colonial Beach, a town of about 3,500 people located directly on the Potomac River. The division has an elementary school for Pre-K through 7th and a high school for 8th grade through 12th. The school district, with a total student population of about 600 students, has a strong sense of community.
About RRMM Architects
RRMM Architects is an award-winning, full-service architecture, planning, and interior design firm in Chesapeake, Virginia with offices in Richmond, Roanoke, and Arlington. Founded in 1988, the firm was recognized by Virginia Business Magazine as the largest architecture-based firm in the Commonwealth of Virginia. RRMM is committed to client success and to their mission of creating great places to live, work, play and learn. To learn more about RRMM Architects, please visit http://www.rrmm.com/.