Ratcliff developed a master plan to guide the expansion of this two-campus, 500-student private lower and middle school. Prior to beginning work on the campus master plan, however, the firm completed the conversion of an existing auditorium to a versatile multi-purpose room which maintains a performing arts function while also serving as a gymnasium. The master planning process that followed was characterized by an unusually intense involvement of over 50 different teachers, administrators, and parent volunteers.
Ratcliff took the time to allow this large group to reach consensus in developing an architectural statement for both campuses that is clear, elegant and compelling. The firm designed two libraries (one for each campus) and an art/science/music building for the Tapscott campus (K-4). The library at the Avis (5-8) campus serves as a new front door. Where a solid brick wall once formed a barrier to the street, the new entrance, with its engaging curvilinear elevation and landscaping, welcomes the student body and faculty and reintroduces the school to its urban setting. The new buildings at the Tapscott site provide a new sense of place and identity inside the campus.