Posted: Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School Receives International Facility AwardDr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School in Greenville received the 2015 Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) James D. MacConnell Award during the CEFPI Annual Conference in San Diego, California.  The award was presented today to representatives from the school district and architectural firm McMillan Pazdan Smith.

The prestigious award recognizes a comprehensive planning process that results in educational facilities that serve the community, enhance education, and meet multiple goals.  The school was selected from four finalists from across the nation.  The school is the first in South Carolina to receive the award and is thought to be the first in the southeast.

As the first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) middle school in the state, the facility is designed to fully integrate as a teaching tool with the project-based curriculum.  Elements include: labeled, color-coded pipes to highlight the flow and consumption of resources, exposed beams, x-bracing, and columns to illustrate the school’s physical properties, communications and power panels wrapped in glass to highlight the building’s highly technological functions, and a bio-retention pond to retain storm water and to remove harmful hydrocarbons, providing an environmental lesson for students.

A multi-disciplinary planning team collaborated on the facility’s initial programming and design, evaluating curriculum, long-range planning, technology, and important energy-efficient and environmentally friendly strategies. The team included key school district representatives, the globally recognized educational programming expert Fielding Nair International, and architectural firm McMillan Pazdan Smith.

Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School, which opened in August 2014, was previously awarded a rating of three Green Globes through the Green Globe certification process that encourages facility design to conserve energy, reduce water consumption, and promote responsible use of materials.

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