Ridgeview Middle School + High School
Building this high school, middle school, and career tech complex was a once in a lifetime opportunity for this small community in the rural coal mining region of Virginia. This project represents the culmination of nearly 20 years of work on behalf of the school district, the community, and local, regional, and national government agencies and funding sources.
Sited along a ridge on one of the highest points in the county, Ridgeview High School and Middle School is oriented north-south to optimize energy efficiency and to capture large expanses of natural light. The media center is expressed above the school entry as a large two-story volume which marks the juncture of the middle school and high school.
Serving 800 high school students and 600 middle school students, the building is a three-story facility organized along a double-height central spine with the high school at its west end and the middle school at its east end. Shared facilities, including the media center, gymnasiums, theater, art, and music spaces, are all located along the spine.
Ridgeview High School offers a unique and comprehensive career tech training program covering 12 different focus areas, all of which prepare its students for jobs in the community and abroad. While a large part of the career tech program is embedded within the high school core academic area, the program includes a stand-alone high-bay career tech building. Located directly west of the main school building, this facility has large spaces where auto mechanics, auto body, masonry, carpentry, and welding are taught. These programs are some of the most popular courses with the students. In addition to their educational component, many of these facilities such as auto mechanics, auto body and cosmetology are open to the public and certified places of business. These partnerships between the school, the students, and the community make Ridgeview truly unique and the flagship educational facility in the region.