Stella Middle Charter Academy
Client: Bright Star Schools
Scope: New Construction
Size: 38,730 SF
Completion: In Progress
Project Manager: Rahel Zewdu, LEED AP
Berliner Architects is currently designing a new three-story building for Bright Star Schools’ Stella Middle Charter Academy. Included are a classroom building, gym, and shaded lunch area for 500 students, which will be located in the vacant space on an existing church site and share a 134-space parking lot with the church.
The new building will accommodate 21 classrooms and administration areas; the administration area on the ground floor will be positioned along the south wall and is open to the play area—a synthetic turf playing field—creating more open and transparent visual access and allowing for maximum interaction with the students.
School is a second home for many students and we wanted to imbue a sense of warmth by leaving the ceilings open to exposed wood beams. We also included durable wood-look vinyl plank tile flooring, another non-traditional material for schools, that enhances the feeling of warmth and home. Pops of color, based on official school colors, will alternate between floors to signal location and naviagation throughout the building.
Bright Star Stella will also feature innovative gender-neutral restrooms. The clever design holds the same amount of stalls as a typical school restroom would require but the private stalls open to the hallway, preventing the need for a separated space. The design is socially conscious and accommodating to all students, with the added benefit to mitigate bullying that can occur in more private school bathrooms.