Sited on the current Smithland Elementary School site, the Early Learning Center features 2-stories and 9 classrooms with access to flexible learning spaces and outdoor play and learning environments.

Harrisonburg City Public Schools’ PreK-12 enrollment has climbed dramatically over the past several years. Between 2002 to 2013, school enrollment grew a whopping 32.76%, with an overall gain in city population of 21%.

Unanimously selected to analyze facility needs for HCPS, VMDO reviewed all school building capacities and assessed various factors driving growth in specific areas of the student population. Working with the Weldon Cooper Center at UVA, VMDO aligned strategic analysis of enrollment projections with facility needs and educational goals, building consensus and buy-in from stakeholders along the way.

VMDO’s analysis prioritized two main recommendations:

1) Grade Realignment: Moving the 5th grade back to the elementary level alleviates strain on middle school capacity and localizes the need for a new K-5 elementary school. Options for a new Early Learning Center, a new elementary, and a consolidated Early Learning Center & elementary were studied. Final sites for a separate elementary (for 700 students) and Early Learning Center (for 154 students) were selected and approved.

2) Redistricting: County borders will be redrawn to make road networks as convenient as possible to and from the new schools. Expansion at the middle and high school levels is also being planned, after construction for the elementary school and Early Learning Center are underway.

Sited on the current Smithland Elementary School site, the Early Learning Center features 2-stories and 9 classrooms with access to flexible learning spaces and outdoor play and learning environments. The Early Learning Center was masterplanned for the full 350 student need, and will be constructed in two phases as funding is secured.

Harrisonburg City Public Schools’ PreK-12 enrollment has climbed dramatically over the past several years. Between 2002 to 2013, school enrollment grew a whopping 32.76%, with an overall gain in city population of 21%.

Unanimously selected to analyze facility needs for HCPS, VMDO reviewed all school building capacities and assessed various factors driving growth in specific areas of the student population. Working with the Weldon Cooper Center at UVA, VMDO aligned strategic analysis of enrollment projections with facility needs and educational goals, building consensus and buy-in from stakeholders along the way.

VMDO’s analysis prioritized two main recommendations:

1) Grade Realignment: Moving the 5th grade back to the elementary level alleviates strain on middle school capacity and localizes the need for a new K-5 elementary school. Options for a new Early Learning Center, a new elementary, and a consolidated Early Learning Center & elementary were studied. Final sites for a separate elementary (for 700 students) and Early Learning Center (for 154 students) were selected and approved.

2) Redistricting: County borders will be redrawn to make road networks as convenient as possible to and from the new schools. Expansion at the middle and high school levels is also being planned, after construction for the elementary school and Early Learning Center are underway.

Sited on the current Smithland Elementary School site, the Early Learning Center features 2-stories and 9 classrooms with access to flexible learning spaces and outdoor play and learning environments. The Early Learning Center was masterplanned for the full 350 student need, and will be constructed in two phases as funding is secured.

The Early Learning Center was masterplanned for the full 350 student need, and will be constructed in two phases as funding is secured.

Client: Harrisonburg City Public Schools

Location: Harrisonburg, VA

Discipline: Early Education

Completion: 2017

Size: 16,000 SF