MTFA was invited to participate in an ideas competition for Loudoun County Public Schools, one of the nation’s fastest growing school districts. In order to meet the accelerating demands of student population growth, LCPS employs a prototype school design approach which creates efficient, cost effective, and consistent building solutions that can be developed and refined quickly. The strategy MTFA developed builds upon the premise that each school could also have a unique identity and layout using a set of distinct planning components allowing the prototype school to respond and adapt, as needed, to specific site and education planning goals.

MTFA’s planning approach for a new 1800 student prototype high school separates the programmatic uses into two prototype wings. They are bridged with flexible common areas to create an adaptable design for efficient, high-performance schools with unique identities while maintaining similar functionality in each variation.

The building is planned as two primary wings; one contains the “academic” spaces with optimal departmental proximity, and the other contains the “civic” spaces, including physical education, auditorium, music, and fine arts. The “academic” and “civic” wings are bridged by a two story instructional media center on one end, and an open cafeteria and commons on the other, with a courtyard in between. The shape of these spaces can adjust based on how the two wings are placed in relationship to each other, while also allowing for daylight to penetrate into the middle of the building. The plan is organized with a circulation system that can be easily extended for space needs that might arise in the future. The simple grid circulation of the academic building provides flexibility for locating additions.

MTFA was awarded the new Loudoun County High School project.