The Buckingham County Training School, which operated from 1924 to 1953 near the current school site, was the first high school in the county for African American students. Eventually, the Training School dissolved, and the Carter G. Woodson High School for African Americans opened on the current project site in 1954. The legacy of the Carter G. Woodson High School, and its famous Virginia-born namesake, continues on in the title of the current primary and elementary schools – which, together, are known as the Carter G. Woodson Education Complex.
The specific overhaul of the site involved the renovation of the 1954 high school building into an elementary school for grades 3-5, and the renovation of an abandoned 1962 elementary school into a primary school for grades K-2. Removal of the old high school cafeteria widened the central gap and provided the additional space needed to successfully create and share “one school” while also demarcating distinct entries and identities for primary and elementary school children.
The existing gap was reinvented to become the community center of the campus – programmatically, architecturally, and ecologically. This new addition situates shared communal learning spaces around an outdoor piazza, while an all-glass bridge frames important connections to the learning landscape beyond. Overall, this community re-investment increased space utilization to accomm