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Community to Get a Look at Plans for Terraset

Elementary school renovations will likely begin in 2013.

is getting a whole new look - one with a centralized outdoor classroom, loads of storage space, new art and music rooms and space for nearly twice as many students.

Terraset's renovation were approved in early 2011 as part of . Terraset Principal Ellen Cury recently received the Phase I plans from the school system.

The school opened in 1977, and received lots of attention in its early years for its innovative design, including being situated into a hill and featuring solar panels for energy.

The community can get a look at the proposed renovations and provide feedback at a meeting at the school on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

Cury says the renovations will help the learning environment at the school as there will be larger classrooms, closets for storage,  a better traffic flow from the Kiss-and-Ride area and doors on the classrooms.

"The school was built 35 years ago, and it was not built for the technology we use today," said Cury. "Academics will remain a high priority in the building."

Terraset currently has 465 students. After the expansion, it will have a capacity for more than 800, says Cury.

"Part of the reasoning behind that is with the coming of Metro [in 2013], it is not known what kind of impact it will have on the area," said Cury. This way, if new housing brings a large influx of students, the area will be able to accomodate them.

Among the proposed renovations:

* There will not be a second story added to the school. There will be several additions built on the sides of the school.

* The current library, in the center of the school, will become a courtyard with an outdoor classroom. The new library will be in one of the additions.

* The two bridges that connect the parking lot with the stairs will be replaced with one covered walkway. There will also be an elevator for improved handicapped access down to the school courtyard/outdoor classroom.

*Improved security with classroom doors that lock.

* The cafeteria will be reconfigured and the stage area, which is currently used for a classroom, will be usable again.

* Two music rooms and two art rooms will be constructed.

* There will be a more traditional layout, with halls and square classrooms rather than the current mods and triangular classroom layout.

* There will be about five classrooms per grade level.

* There will be bathrooms inside all K-3 classrooms.

* The glass "pyramid" on the roof of the building will go away as part of the new configuration to the outdoor courtyard.

There will likely be some modifications made to the current plans, said Cury.

 After the plans are shared with the community,  the plans will go through the county permit process and the Reston Association Design Review Board process. Groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for some time in 2013.

Arielle Masters January 25, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Love the idea of a central courtyard - wish all schools had them. Nice to look at while you're walking around in the building. As someone who attended Terraset when it opened(!), it'll be sad to lose the triangular classrooms; I'm hoping they're making that change because they just aren't working for the classrooms of today and not because it's simpler to arrange things in a rectangle than a triangle.
John Farrell January 26, 2012 at 04:59 AM
A 800 kid elementary school is just too damn big! That's not a school; it's a factory! All 4 of my kids went to Terrsaet. The population that goes there shouldn't be treated like so many widgets.
Chipperson January 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Sad to see it get modified and part of the "green roof" modified. I love these relics from a time past. Why not put the array back on the roof - that was awesome! (don't troll me with the reasons why it was ineffective I know them)

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