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Volusia County Schools
Daytona Beach, Florida

Facing aging facilities, damage from past hurricanes and a lack of space to support 21st-century programs, Volusia County Schools  (VCS) called upon BRPH to guide the consolidation of Osceola Elementary (450 students) and Ortona Elementary (200 students).

Recognizing the challenges of combining two school communities, the design team was sensitive to the unique and individual needs of both groups of stakeholders. The team carefully analyzed both existing sites to provide district staff and the VCS board with the data needed to select the best site for the new facility. Through a collaborative and iterative process with district staff, BRPH investigated and compared critical elements of both sites, including onsite and offsite circulation, stormwater requirements and existing utilities. Several conceptual site designs were created to evaluate the best overall layout for each site, including studies requested by the board regarding the efficacy of a K-8 campus rather than a K-5. In addition to presenting this data to the board, the BRPH team led community meetings and collaboratively worked with all stakeholders to ensure the final design reflected their desire for a school at which students are instilled with a sense of pride the moment they walk through the front door.

Starting with a known and well-received prototype, the team successfully adapted the Beachside design to the unique needs of this combined school community as well as the coastal aesthetic of the surrounding neighborhood. The new elementary school exceeds the client’s expectations in terms of attracting and retaining students and teachers, creating high-tech, future-ready environments, promoting safety and wellbeing, and incorporating universal and accessible design.