Posts Tagged ‘Floyd E. Kellam High School’


Kellam High School – Now Open!

In Design on January 27, 2014 by HBA Tagged: , ,

In 2008, HBA was contracted to plan and design a replacement high school facility for one of the oldest high schools in Virginia Beach, Kellam High School. From the beginning, the new 2,000- student school was envisioned as a prototype for 21st century learning.

The entire school is designed for flexibility. All interior-room partitions are nonstructural; reconfiguration of the school’s interiors can be achieved with minimal cost. Redesigned desks, partitions, presentation boards, and tables provide workspace and storage that can be readily rearranged to form small-, midsize-, and large-group interactive seating. All areas have wireless Internet access. Areas for creative, production, presentation, and evaluation tasks are designed specific to those tasks, yet grouped by learning communities.

Every area within the new Kellam High School is designed to be utilized as a potential teaching space- Arts, Science, Mathematics, History, Athletics- all subject areas are integrated and presented in such a way as to produce students that are well-rounded and capable.

Performing Arts spaces were designed to be state-of-the-Art, and of the highest quality. Each space within the Performing Arts Community is designed for maximum flexibility and teaching, with special attention paid to areas for student access. The Multi-Use Teaching theater, an 800-seat, full-fly space with counter-weight rigging system, contains an orchestra pit, catwalk access, and support spaces: storage areas for scenery, costumes, and props; a make-up room; dressing areas; green room; instrumental space; choral space; offices; small-group practice rooms; and keyboarding labs.

These performance and teaching spaces, in particular, were thoughtfully designed and planned in such a way as to rival those of the major performance venues in the Hampton Roads area.

The High School opened today, January 27th, 2014. Kellam High School

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Kellam’s New Castle

In Design,Events on January 16, 2014 by HBA Tagged: , ,

The original article, written by L. Todd Spencer for The Virginian-Pilot, can be found here.


– Kellam christened its sparkling new digs Wednesday night by hosting a Conference 9 wrestling match – the first athletic event in Virginia Beach’s newest high school.

The Knights’ athletic teams have moved from the old school to about a mile away on West Neck Road to the new school and a gym that is three times the size of the former one and has about twice the seating capacity. The new gym seats about 2,000, athletic director Jim Moxey said.

The Knights’ wrestling team, ranked second in South Hampton Roads, hosted Maury, Norview and Salem on Wednesday.

The first varsity girls and boys home basketball games at the new gym are scheduled for Tuesday against Green Run.

Students are set to report for classes January 27. –

Kellam HS_PilotOnline

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New Kellam High School redefines the 21st century learning environment

In Design on December 11, 2013 by HBA Tagged: , , , ,

This is a re-post from the VBCPS blog, found here:

“This post was submitted from the VBCPS Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, which is overseen by Tony Arnold, director.

On Jan. 27, 2014, more than 2,000 students and staff will report to the new 349,350 square-foot Kellam High School, located at 2665 West Neck Rd. Since 1998 VBCPS has constructed twenty nine facilities at a cost of $556 million. Kellam’s new replacement building is the first high school construction project built in Virginia Beach since Landstown High School opened its doors in 2001.  Kellam, with a total project cost of $102 million, will be the eighth LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building constructed by VBCPS since 2005. Through careful planning and system selection, the added efficiencies that result from building to LEED standards has allowed the School Division to keep the cost per square foot of new construction significantly lower than the rest of the region’s standard construction costs.

To see how the cost of our LEED facilities compare to other school divisions in our region, see the graph below:

11-25-2013 3-38-22 PM

Unique sustainability features to the new Kellam range from the use of rainwater to irrigate ball fields, to treating storm water on site, to the design of an edible garden adjacent to the culinary arts classroom, and a vegetative roof that is accessible from the second floor art rooms.  In addition, the core of the new building is designed to withstand a Category II hurricane.  Integrated energy, water and related system efficiencies will result in continued operational savings to be realized throughout the life of the building.

The new Kellam is also a result of an extensive collaborative planning and design process that took teachers, students and curriculum advisors, as well as business and community leaders, through a series of hands-on workshops.  During the planning phase, 120 students from five classes participated in a challenge-based learning project to design the school’s educational courtyard.  As a direct result of student input and collaboration, the educational courtyard will greet all of Kellam’s students and staff when they walk through the doors in January.


However, what truly makes Kellam unique among its peers is the integration of learning communities that are designed to facilitate problem-based and project-based learning. These learning community spaces are designed to facilitate student discussion and collaboration as well as presentation and demonstration skills.  With the benefit of the school’s design, teachers at Kellam will also participate in an educational commissioning that will highlight inter-disciplinary learning opportunities.

Chris Freeman, AP Environmental Science teacher at Kellam, provided a great example of inter-disciplinary opportunities that will be cultivated within the new building. During a recent tour of the building conducted by the project architect, Mike Ross, 60 Kellam students discussed the benefits of their new learning environment.  When asked if students understood the concept of inter-disciplinary, Mr. Freeman provided the following example: “Each year I teach about the dust bowl as it relates to water conservation, climate change, monocultures, etc… the English teacher down the hall was talking about the dust bowl when teaching the Grapes of Wrath. Furthermore, the history teacher was discussing the dust bowl during American history. Now, the three of us can get together and talk about how our classes can complement each other.”

Many students, who at first connected inter-disciplinary with being sent to the principal’s office, will now be able to truly benefit from the collaborative approach to 21st century learning, within a building designed to foster the inter-disciplinary approach.

It has been said that, great teachers don’t teach, they provide an environment where learning can take place. Teachers, staff and students, and those of us that build and maintain these buildings, are all active participants in creating that environment. Please feel free to ask us questions about the School Division’s facilities and utilize them as opportunities to have students explore their built environment, by planning a visit in person or on-line. Needless to say, we are proud of the buildings that are built in VBCPS and look forward to their ability to support student success.”  Aerial

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Bruce Raider’s Sportswrap: Kellam High School

In Events on October 22, 2013 by Kelly Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Kellam High School ‘s Stadium was recently featured in Bruce Raider’s Sportswrap. Check the video out  here!

MikeR thumbnail2 Mike Ross

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Kellam High School Football Scrimmage Tonight! 8/22

In People on August 22, 2013 by Kelly Tagged: , , ,

Tonight at 6 PM is the first time the new KHS stadium will be used for a Kellam varsity football game (scrimmage). We play Oscar Smith (an area supreme powerhouse who beat Norview 100-0 in a scrimmage last week).


Come be a part of history in the making! The staff of both the School and General Contractor have fabulous things to say about Mr. Ross, HBA, and the team who have worked on this masterpiece. Kellam High School is certainly something we should all take great pride in. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few news cameras are on hand!

Look for #10; he’s related to me!!

Candi thumbnail 2 Candi James

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Kellam High School on YouTube

In Design,Front Page,Sustainability/LEED® on October 17, 2011 by HBA Tagged: , , , , , ,

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Educational Facility Planning & Design – Project Based Learning

In Design,Front Page on December 6, 2010 by HBA Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Most of us who are involved in planning and designing K-12 educational facilities have become aware of a growing movement to shift the paradigm of education delivery in our schools. In a time where the primary focus seems to be on accountability, standards, and high-stakes testing, we are asking ourselves “how can schools prepare students to be effective life-long learners and how can we prepare educators to be more effective teachers in a fundamentally different world than the one in which we grew up in?” Our country appears to be suffering a crisis in education that threatens the ability of an entire generation to achieve success in life and work, a crisis that also threatens America’s ability to remain competitive on a global stage.

When business leaders across the world are asked what skills are most needed for workforce readiness for today’s business environments, they do not answer “math test taking” or “reading comprehension”; rather they talk of critical thinking skills, creative and innovative thinking skills, problem solving skills, listening, communication and collaboration skills, media and technology skills, self-direction, accountability, adaptability, and global awareness.

Today’s student has grown up in a world where mobile computers and cell phones with browsers are common tools, and where instant messaging, blogs and wikis are common modes of self-expression. We are gaining an increased awareness that these “digital natives” will find it difficult to succeed in a classroom environment where the “sage on the stage” is the most common form of education delivery. Not surprisingly, today’s students expect to learn in an environment that mirrors their lives and their perception of the future – one than seamlessly integrates today’s digital tools and mobile lifestyle, and one that encourages collaboration and teamwork in both physical and virtual spaces.

Study after study has shown that the level of learning that takes place is directly proportional to the learner’s level of engagement in his or her own learning. How do we go about planning and designing learning environments that support a curriculum that seeks to engage learners in their own learning experience and sustains a learner’s intrinsic desire to know?

In 2008, our firm, HBA Architecture & Interior Design, was contracted to plan and design a replacement high school facility for one of the oldest high schools in Virginia Beach, Kellam High School. From the beginning, this new 2,000 student school was being envisioned as a prototype for 21st century learning. We established four clear objectives that would define success for this project and guide the Owner, the users of the facility, the planning and design team, and other stakeholders toward achievement of a truly remarkable educational facility. The objectives are:
1.) Involve full spectrum of stakeholders in a collaborative planning and design process to achieve user and community “buy-in”.
2.) Design a high school facility that will facilitate and support the implementation of a new curriculum and assessment model founded on the principals of challenge-based learning.
3.) Create challenge-based learning opportunities for Kellam High School students that are integral to the planning and design process for the new high school and that are collaborative efforts with the design team.
4.) Incorporate planning processes and design elements into the school facility that will encourage students to be “sustainable citizens.”

We have long believed that engaging the stakeholders in the planning and design process contributes mightily to the ultimate success of the facility, and stakeholder collaboration is an integral part every school facility design on which we embark. Because of the unique challenges presented by our objectives for this project, it was especially crucial to involve all of the group types that were most likely to be impacted by the final solution in the planning and design processes. It was important for curriculum developers be a part of planning the environment that would facilitate the desired learning and assessment models they were developing. It was important for future teachers and administrators of the school to have a say in envisioning the new learning environments and support spaces that they would one day be teaching, learning, and working in. It was important for students to impart their perspective as “the learner” into the planning and design process, and it was important for parents to visualize their new role in supporting the learning of their children within the context of this new pedagogy. It was important for local business leaders to be engaged in the discussion about how this new curriculum and this new school will better prepare students for the 21st century workplace. And finally, it was important for neighbors and community leaders to be a part of a collaborative planning process that developed the most advantageous solutions to planning the site.

Click here for the full article…

- C. Michael Ross, AIA, REFP

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Kellam High School Replacement :: The Process of Creating a New Environment for Learning

In Design,Front Page on September 2, 2010 by HBA Tagged: , , , ,

The linked report will take you on our journey of collaboration and discovery with the Kellam HS Building Planning & Design Stakeholders…

Kellam High School Educational Specifications

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Kellam High School Replacement :: A New Model for Learning

In Front Page on August 27, 2010 by HBA Tagged: , , , , ,

Imagine a high school where students are having fun learning! 

…Imagine a high school where students are engaged in their own learning experience and are motivated to become life-long learners!

Imagine a high school where students are applying creative and critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems and create real-world projects that encompass a fully integrated curriculum!

…Imagine a high school where students are interacting with community organizations and local businesses to facilitate real-life context in their learning!

Imagine a high school where students are graded not on what they can memorize, but on what they have learned and how they can apply their learning!

This is the kind of high school that Virginia Beach City Public Schools and the staff of Kellam High School are imagining with the assistance of HBA Architecture’s Community Studio Leader, C. Michael Ross, AIA, REFP. The new 2,000 student Kellam High School will be the pilot facility for the new problem/project-based learning curriculum COMPASS to 2015 recently adopted by the School Board.

So what does this type of new high school look like?

Stay tuned as we take you on our journey of exploration and creative problem solving, as we turn imagination into reality.

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