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Alexandria City Public Schools
125,000 sq. ft., 3-Stories
The Jefferson-Houston Pre-K-8 School meets the needs of the growing student enrollment in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). The school is the focus of significant community involvement and offers ACPS the opportunity to build an award-winning school through its academic facilities, connections to the community, design, and use of both energy-efficient technology and green building features. A neighborhood environment is the impression the new Jefferson-Houston school conveys. Situated on the west side of Alexandria’s Old Town, the school is mere blocks from two different metro stations. Drawing on the high-density setting of the school’s urban site, the Educational Specifications outline a “nexus approach,” wherein people, programs, and services are clustered near each other to maximize resource sharing and reinforce the neighborhood context. The school’s major building elements were thoughtfully placed to emphasize this special nexus of community and context.
The new Jefferson-Houston features grade-specific “pods” carefully arranged to support adjacencies between students. Flexible breakout areas promote individualized instruction while shared educational spaces (known as Extended Learning Areas) contribute to a sense of community. ACPS was committed to constructing a building that will become an integral part of the historic architecture of Old Town Alexandria and will serve Alexandria students for the next 50 to 75 years.