Cherry Park Elementary School Receives Outstanding Project Award

Learning By Design announces top honors in its annual architectural showcase

Learning by Design honored Moseley Architects’ Cherry Park Elementary School of Language Immersion with the Outstanding Project Award for excellence in educational facility design. The magazine stated that the facility was chosen “for its architectural and interior design and for having next generation benchmark design type and planning features worthy of imitation.” The school is featured in Learning By Design’s Spring 2020 issue.

Located in Rock Hill, S.C., the new 76,000-square-foot, two-story Cherry Park Elementary School was built as an addition to the existing Sullivan Middle School, which was partially renovated to house Cherry Park’s fourth- and fifth-grade classroom wing. The expanded campus allows for the easy transition of Cherry Park Elementary School students to Sullivan Middle School, where their in-depth language studies can continue uninterrupted through the eighth grade.

A two-day design charette inspired the concept of the Casa Maison (literally, “House House”), an open, collaborative space outside the classrooms where two teachers may instruct their classes jointly or facilitate small group work. The school has three Casa Maisons, one each in the wings shared by kindergarten and first grade, second and third grades, and fourth and fifth grades.

The jury of five architects and end-users commended the design.

“The arrangement of classrooms and the Casa Maison appears to be very successful. Smaller zones defined by the lower ceiling in the Casa Maison adds a nice scale to the space. Nice building organization with break out spaces. The exterior blends well with the existing building.”

Jury commentary

Managing Principal Jimmy Wilhide explained how the project’s success resulted from the collaborative design process.

“This is a perfect example where the program and project had multiple champions supporting its success. A charrette, with all stakeholders represented, defined the program and mission statement of Cherry Park Elementary School. The teachers helped craft the program as a response to the curriculum. The parents’ vision was part of the mission.

“The results of the charrette were fully supported by the school district and realized in the design and the built project. Without the students, parents, teachers, school administrators, district administrators and board members, this award would not have been possible.” he said.

Jimmy Wilhide, Managing Principal

The project also had personal significance for Wilhide. “As a resident of Rock Hill, I am so proud of the Cherry Park Elementary School of Language Immersion,” he added.