The original McBride Elementary School on Fort Benning was commissioned in 1966 and dedicated to the memory of CPT Morris R McBride who gave his life in Vietnam and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism. After many years of steady use, DODEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) and the U S Army Corp determined that Ft. Benning was due for a new McBride Elementary School and commissioned Parkhill Smith Cooper Architects (PCS) from Lubbock, Texas to design it.
The new design is a “21st Century Education Facility” determined to meet the educational needs of its students in the future. With more than seven decades of experience serving K-12 education, PSC is uniquely qualified for the role they play in the national dialog about the 21st Century Classroom. They are one of five firms chosen by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop new educational facility specifications for its $4 billion school replacement program.
Founded upon the principle of placing learning, collaboration and technology ahead of brick-and-mortar concerns, a 21st century school building design is essential to a connected community. Collaboration spaces provide Skyfold with a unique solution in schools – dividing spaces that can also serve large classes.
Some of the elements of this new school focus on collaborative learning like their new “black box” theater which includes a Skyfold wall at the front of the stage and flexible teaching neighborhoods that include Skyfold walls to separate the neighborhoods as well as the classrooms, and using the building as a teaching tool, among other things.
School District Superintendent Dr. Christy Huddleston says, “It's more than just the technology; it's how they integrate certain skills – but really it's about developing skills that are going to help students be successful in a global world.”