Virginia’s First LEED Gold Middle School
Moseley Architects, a leader in the design of educational facilities, is proud to announce that Orange County Public Schools’ new Locust Grove Middle School has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Located in Locust Grove, Virginia, the facility is Virginia’s first LEED Gold middle school and Orange County’s first LEED certified building.
The new two-story, 168,300-square-foot facility offers students a state-of-the-art learning environment and features dedicated spaces to special education and music, as well as general classrooms, science laboratories, a library, a commons area with stage, athletic gyms, locker rooms, kitchen, and administration offices. Initially intended to function as a traditional middle school for grades six through eight, the flexibility of the design, which features team teaching and grade house concepts, has resulted in the county accommodating grades three to eight.
The Orange County School Board was eager to work with the design team to integrate high performance design principles into the new school’s design. When the project began, the goal was to create a facility that was capable of earning LEED Silver; however, due to the dedication of the school board, designers, and contractor, Gold certification was feasible.
“Going green was the responsible thing to do, and it shows our students and community the School Board’s commitment to protecting our natural resources,” said Orange County School Board Chairman Jerry Bledsoe. “Most importantly, every dollar that doesn’t go to utility cost can be used in the classroom.”
“I am extremely pleased that our new middle school is considered a green project as indicated by the LEED certification,” said Lee Frame, District 5 member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Chairman of the Board. “It was an initiative that I, as well as others, promoted early in the design process and the architects and builders followed through to achieve this certification. We have a school that the citizens of the county can be proud of, not only for its beauty and superb functionality, but also for its minimum impact on our environment. The school’s green design will pay dividends for many years in the future.”
Jim Henderson, a vice president with Moseley Architects and who worked on the project, said “The sustainable features of the new school will positively impact the students and reap significant cost savings over the life cycle of the school. I think that this project also reinforces the importance of being good stewards of our limited natural resources.”
Working with the project’s general contractor, Kenbridge Construction Company, Inc., Moseley Architects’ designers incorporated strategies that were critical to reaching the team’s LEED goals. Noteworthy features include: using low-flow fixtures to reduce water use by 37 percent, which will annually save over 700,000 gallons of water; supporting the local economy by using regionally manufactured materials for 59 percent of the building materials; diverting 89 percent (644 tons) of construction waste from landfills; and providing outside views for 90 percent of the building’s regularly occupied spaces.
“I want to thank Moseley Architects for the beautiful new Locust Grove Middle School,” said Jim Hopkins, District 5 representative on the Orange County School Board. “The practical green design of the building will serve as an example to our students and save tax payers’ dollars for years to come.”