Location: Alexandria, VA
Size: 80,000 Square Feet
Client: Fairfax County Public Schools
Completed: 2015
Type: Elementary School Addition and Renovation

Since Clermont Elementary School’s opening over 40 years ago, there have been a series of one and two-story additions that have resulted in an unclear overall school design that did not have a recognizable main entry and lacked good internal circulation. MTFA designed a phased, occupied, renovation featuring a new main entrance and a new front façade unifying the school. New classrooms, cafeteria, administrative spaces, media center, and a child care were added. Other additions were added to create a clear circulation network allowing quick and easy communication between spaces to improve supervision and oversight.

The design features architectural elements which slant upwards, opening to the community. Light fills the building throughout the day, with large north facing windows in the library, clerestory windows in the cafeteria, and large operable windows in each classroom. Learning extends beyond the building to a garden, which includes raised planters and an outdoor classroom. A rain garden captures water runoff in front of the building, adding a natural landscape along the public facade that attracts both butterflies and local wildlife.