Hilsman Middle School – Foundations In Design

This year Breedlove Land Planning had the opportunity to assist Hilsman Middle School students involved in a program called “Foundations In Design.” The program, which received a grant from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), was initiated and led by Architectural Collaborative, an Athens based Architectural Firm. Foundations In Design introduces students to principles of design and construction. Throughout the year, students learned about a variety of AEC practice areas including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and civil engineering. The students experienced field trips to construction sites, educational sessions with local design professionals and hands-on project activities. The students then divided into small groups to tackle a semester long project – design of a new community garden space on the grounds of their new campus. 

Breedlove Land Planning had recently worked on the site design of the new Hilsman Middle School campus, which was opened in 2019. BLP utilized campus data to prepare a base map of the project area for the students to work from. BLP also donated engineering scales to the program so that students could learn how designers convert real world measurements into a plan scale. BLP’s Kayloe Dawson, PE and Gary Caraway, PLA worked with the students to understand spatial requirements of various elements which could be incorporated into the plan. These elements included walkways, crop rows, raised garden beds, fish ponds/fountains, chicken coops and chicken runs. They also taught students about rainwater capture. The presentation outlined the process of determining how much water would be needed to irrigate their plants and how much water could be collected via rain barrels or cisterns. It explained cistern sizing, proper locating and efficient drip irrigation techniques. 

The program culminated this past Thursday with a presentation by the students.  Each group presented their design solutions to a room full of “jury” members and proud parents.  Moving forward, the designs will be utilized to assist in fund raising efforts as they aim to make the community garden into a campus reality. We look forward to next year as the program hopes to shift to students at Clarke Middle School.

Top Georgia Private Schools

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on a recent ranking of the best Private K-12 schools in Georgia and Breedlove Land Planning is proud to count three of them as our clients.  At Pace Academy, we are currently working on their lower school renovation and a campus wide hydrology study.  Across Atlanta at The Paideia School, we are working on the site design for a new Junior High School building that has already received approval from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.  At Woodward Academy in Southwest Atlanta, we are currently in the design development stage for the renovation of Brewster Hall to become the new administration hub for the campus. We appreciate the opportunity to work with these great institutions and you can learn more about our experience on our portfolio page.

Click here to read the article.

Hilsman Health Center Ribbon Cutting

BLP’s Matt Tanner recently attended the ribbon cutting for a new health center at Hilsman Middle School. It’s the first at-school health center in Athens-Clarke County, and will offer physical, dental and behavioral healthcare to students at Hilsman Middle School and Gaines Elementary School regardless of their ability to pay. Breedlove Land Planning provided site design services for the school.

Click here to read more about the project.

Rockdale County Schools Celebrates Two Groundbreaking Ceremonies

Mike Breedlove and Joe Moon recently attended the groundbreaking ceremonies for Rockdale County School’s new J.H. House Elementary replacement building and the new Central Office Campus. BLP is providing landscape architecture and civil engineering services for both projects.

The new J.H. House facility will provide 110,000 SF of learning space for 800 students. The school includes 40 classrooms, two paired special education classrooms, art, P.E., music, computer science, and a media center. The school is designed by Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates and will be built by Carroll Daniel Construction Company.

The original Pine Street Elementary building, which first opened in 1957, will be renovated to house the new Central Office Campus. The new campus will include 29,000 SF of renovated space and a 53,000 SF addition providing a larger board room, central registration, atrium for gatherings, and a staff dining area for 175 employees. The new campus will also include 250 parking spaces to accommodate staff and visitors. Lindsay Pope Brayfield Clifford & Associates is the project’s architect, and Carroll Daniel Construction Company is the project’s general contractor.

Click on the links below to read more about the events:
Rockdale County School officials break ground for J.H. House construction

Rockdale County Public Schools to re-purpose old Pine Street Elementary campus for Central Offices

Ribbon Cutting for New Barrow County Synthetic Turf Fields

Matt Tanner and Bobby Molleur recently attended Barrow County School’s ribbon cutting for their new synthetic turf football fields at Apalachee High School and Winder Barrow High School. BLP designed the synthetic turf field conversions, which included removal of the existing natural turf fields and replacement with synthetic turf systems. These Barrow County high school fields are equipped with AstroTurf 3D3 turf system with Rootzone and a 17 mm Brock shock pad with organic BrockFill. BrockFill is the latest organic infill product that consists of engineered wood fiber from sustainably harvested trees. Both Brockfill and the AstroTurf system are also manufactured in Georgia.

This project is a great example of collaborative partnership between the community and the local school system. The Barrow County Parks and Recreation department shared in the costs of these fields, which will be an asset to the citizens of Barrow County and the school system.

Click here to see more photos from the event.

Artificial Turf Growing in Popularity at Georgia High Schools

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As football season gets underway, according to the AJC, this is the first year that more Georgia high schools will be playing on artificial turf fields than natural grass. Twenty-two high schools installed artificial turf on their home fields during the offseason, bringing the total to 212 high schools of the 422 in the Georgia High School Association.

Why the switch? High schools are seeing the benefits of artificial turf in less maintenance and year-round field use for various sports and events. So many schools are limited in their physical space and ability to maintain practice fields that can stand up to the use experienced in high school sports. With the growing popularity of soccer and lacrosse at the JV and varsity levels combined with football, school systems have found it difficult and expensive to maintain natural turf playing fields that can stand up to the year-round wear and tear. One of the biggest benefits of synthetic turf fields is the ability to play on them during or immediately after rain, no matter how large or small the storm. From a maintenance standpoint, artificial turf eliminates the need for irrigation, fertilizing, mowing, top dressing, aerating, and painting field markings.

BLP has designed over 30 artificial turf fields, including four of the high school field conversions installed this year: Apalachee and Winder-Barrow in Barrow County; and Duluth and South Gwinnett in Gwinnett County. BLP also designed new fields this year for Inter Atlanta FC Soccer and Eastside Elementary School in Cobb County.

Click here to read the full article in the AJC.

BLP Leads National Green Infrastructure Certification Program Site Tour

On May 16th, Alan Wieczynski and Laurel Fox led a tour of E. Rivers Elementary School for a group of professionals training for the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program. This Atlanta Public School campus, designed by Breedlove Land Planning and Collins Cooper Carusi Architects, and constructed by Parrish Construction, has many examples of green infrastructure. Attendees learned about the design, construction and maintenance of porous paver parking lots, permeable stormwater management systems, biorientation cells and rain gardens.

The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program provides the base-level skill set needed for entry-level workers to properly construct, inspect and maintain green stormwater infrastructure (GI). Designed to meet international best practice standards, NGICP is a tool that can be used to meet a wide range of needs, including professional development for existing GI professionals and as part of a larger workforce development to provide candidates with the technical skills necessary to enter the green workforce and earn a livable wage. You can learn more at their website.