Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools | Chapel Hill, North Carolina
When it began work on East Chapel Hill High School, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools decided to move away from conventional high school design and create its vision of the 21st Century School.The task before the 50-member design committee was to create a school for 1500 students that would be a more personal and nurturing environment in which to learn. The design of East Chapel Hill was driven by the belief that successful high schools will find a way to create smaller learning communities in which students and teachers develop more personal relationships. In response to this concept, three academic ‘Quads’ were designed to have the flexibility to accommodate different ways of organizing students, structure curriculum and deliver instruction. The school could function under a ‘school-within-a-school’ idea or as a traditionally organized high school. A large variety of spaces house both large and small groups and allow choices for students to explore disciplines in depth. These spaces include the ‘Slant Room’, a 125-seat lecture hall, a Black-box theater, small project rooms in each academic ‘quad’ and the Café Commons, which serves as the cafeteria, student commons and venue for student events.