Round Hill Elementary School was constructed in 1962 to house 275 students in an open-plan teaching environment. Lunches were prepared at another school, re-heated in a small warming kitchen, and served in the school’s cafeteria/auditorium. Over the school’s next fifty years of life its population grew in numbers and diversity. After absorbing the students from the now-closed Huff Lane School, Round Hill was bursting at the seams with more than 600 students. Thirteen original classrooms had been supplemented with educational spaces in four modular trailers, former storage rooms, and even mechanical rooms. The school’s 32 outside entry doors presented multiple security issues. A complicated and crowded traffic pattern required parents and buses to line up on Oakland Boulevard to wait their turn for student pick-up and drop-off.
Hughes Associates Architects & Engineers was commissioned in 2012 to transform the over-crowded and aging school into a twenty-first century educational campus.
This project consists of four phases of renovations and additions to expand the current 600-student elementary school to a final capacity of 900. We worked with the owner to phase the work so that the existing school could remain in operation throughout the construction.
Phase 1 – Gymnasium and Site Work (Completed 2013):
Consisting of a 5,000 square foot tensile fabric structure, the new gymnasium, similar to others in the RCPS system, replaced a large modular trailer. Site work included relocation and improvement of existing utilities and infrastructure, an expanded parking lot and service drive, and initial preparatory work for subsequent phases.
Phase 2 – Cafeteria/Kitchen and Twelve Classroom Addition:
Completed for the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, the infill addition of a 450-seat cafeteria relieved the extreme over-crowding at meal time and reduced the number of lunch periods from five to two. A new commercial kitchen includes full-service food prep and storage areas, two serving lines, a loading dock with space for refuse and recycling staging, cleanup, and managerial spaces. Work in this phase also included an upgrade of incoming electrical service and distribution.
A two-story addition on the northwest side of the school added twelve additional classrooms and support spaces to the facility. Drawing its aesthetic inspiration from the horizontal elements of the original building’s mid-century modern exterior, continuous lines of contoured EIFS add shadow lines and visual interest to the building’s envelope without adding significant cost. Stair towers and entrances are enclosed by masonry matching the existing building, accented with gray bands. A deep overhang provides shade to the projected bay windows. This phase also includes a new 83-car parking lot which will also serve the parent drop off area.
Phase 3 – Nine Classroom Addition
Housing nine additional full-size classrooms, three smaller conference rooms, and an art room; this two-story wing is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2016.
Phase 4 – Interior Renovations
Work on the original building began in January 2016. Classrooms were refreshed and the Library was enlarged to meet current educational standards. A renovated main entrance, as well as administrative and student services areas were provided. The main entrance, administrative, and student services were renovated. A new bus loop capable of accommodating 10 school buses at a time was constructed on the west side of the campus. Car traffic has a separate circulation pattern allowing for on-site queuing.