Building up is an answer to growth

January 28, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
One way the Wake County school system is dealing with growth is by building up instead of out.

Its next high school will be a four-story building.

A traditional high school is usually a two-story building like Millbrook High School in Raleigh.

Wake's next high school, which will be built on Highway 401 near Rolesville by the year 2011, will be four stories tall.

Each story will be a small community for each grade.

"The students not only go to classes on those floors, they'll also eat on those floors they'll also have media centers on those floors," Mike Burriss, assistant superintendent of facilities, said.

Instead of one large cafeteria and a big library, the floor plan shows a central area on each floor that will serve as a combination center. It's an idea the school system got form the private sector.

"Picture a Barnes and Nobles or a Borders," Burriss said.

Inside the Barnes and Noble at Triangle Town Center, Eyewitness News found people eating and reading and in other areas, people were reading in groups.

"When you interact with learning, you do it in multiple ways," Burriss said. "Students work on their laptops and palms and all sorts of different mechanisms. It's that collaboration effect we're trying to promote during the whole day and be able to use, savings to do that because we're not having to build as much."

And by building up, they don't need as much land. That's a plus in a county that continues to grow. Larger tracts are harder to find.

The four-story model will be used to build future high schools in Apex and Garner. There are a lot of green features as well, saving money in other ways for years to come.


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