Northside Elementary School
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Located on a previously developed site with nearby public transit, this 100,000-square-foot school is the heart of the neighborhood and serves as a place for community events. Northside Elementary School is home to 585 students and includes classrooms, a media center, a multipurpose room, support spaces, as well as dining and kitchen areas. Large windows in the classrooms provide natural light for the students and teachers. A building dashboard is located in the media center and is accessible to teachers who can integrate the facility’s water and power usage into their lesson plans. While construction details such as skylights, solar heating, and a green roof evoke the future, the design celebrates the site’s history of education by featuring a historical timeline component to the main staircase. In 1924, the cornerstone of the all-African-American Orange County Training School was located at 350 Caldwell Street, the site that is now home to the new Northside Elementary. The training school later became Lincoln High School in 1948 and Northside Elementary in 1951. The only elementary school in town for African-American children, Northside closed shortly after mandatory integration in 1966. The building subsequently functioned as office space until it was razed to accommodate the new school. Northside earned LEED Platinum certification in 2014, which made it the first elementary school to do so in North Carolina.