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Renaissance Academy

High School K-12 Education Middle School

Renaissance Academy.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach’s Renaissance Academy is a school for student’s who need assistance getting back into the educational mainstream. The main design challenge for this project was the small, semi-urban site and combining multiple autonomous programs with various sub-programs into one main building. The RRMM design team and partners hosted over 50 meetings engaging user groups to determine space needs and plan out spatial relationships and environmental context. The final design is a two-story “H” layout that effectively provides each program with their own wing, but with a core that provides for the needs common to all. The building is LEED Gold Certified and won six design awards from various organizations.

Part of the project site for Renaissance Academy included the first African-American school in the region. The Princess Anne County Training School, renamed Union Kempsville High School, was built in 1938 and little of the original school was still intact. The school board decided to devote 2,000 SF within the new facility for Renaissance Academy to a publicly accessible, museum quality exhibit. Union Kempsville Exhibit displays artifacts and stories preserving the African-American education experience for future generations.