Building an award-winning elementary school is a daunting task — a challenge that Moseley Architects met head on.
Moseley Architects won The Award For Excellence in Architectural Design last week at the North Carolina School Board Association conference in Greensboro. Moseley was the firm responsible for the construction of the new Northside Elementary School in Chapel Hill this year — the project that won it the prize.
Ashley Dennis, the Moseley project manager for Northside Elementary, said the company knew Northside was a unique project from the beginning.
“We knew way before we started construction that this was not just any other elementary school,” she said. “And not that we would like to categorize any of our other schools, but this one is definitely special.”
Haley Hepburn, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina School Board Association, said the award was chosen by those involved in the conference.
James Barrett, a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ Board of Education, was at the conference and said he was happy for both Moseley and Northside.
“I’m glad that they get the recognition,” he said. “I hope that they use this as an opportunity to further teach the community about the school.”
Barrett said Northside is a special school because of its innovative design.
“I think anyone that goes to Northside will recognize that it is a gorgeous school,” he said. “And some of the little features, like the roof gardens, which are both environmentally sensitive and educationally beneficial, make it a great school.”
Northside Elementary has solar panels on its roof that generate hot water for its space heating and cooking needs. It also has rooftop gardens to manage stormwater and provide hands-on learning environments for Northside science classes.
“One of the things they do is, to cover the environmental aspect of it, is they actually post in the library a video board that shows them how much impact they are having on the environment every day, in real time,” Barrett said.
“So water usage, power usage, all that information is tracked there. So the building itself is used as an educational tool, and I hope they receive this award as a reminder of that and how great this is.”
Moseley invested a lot of creativity into the project, and Dennis said they were proud to be recognized.
“Well it’s always good to be recognized for any of our projects, especially this project,” she said. “We are pretty proud of this one just because I think our firm has become pretty invested in this.”
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