90 North Main Street Granite Falls, North Carolina 28630
The historic, yet aged, Granite Falls Middle School, fully integrated into the local neighborhood and beloved by its community, could no longer keep pace with the needs of a 21st century education. A strategy and design were developed by McKissick Architects to replace parts of the school, renovate, update, and adapt other areas while maintaining particular historic areas, such as the free-standing auditorium and gymnasium buildings, which will be restored yet equipped with modern upgrades. The phased plan enables continued use of the site, as well as reduces the cost of construction, bringing the project scope within the county's budget. The skeleton of the original 1930s school will remain; however, the interior will be entirely reconfigured as the “Technotorium,” a project-based learning center with studies to include robotics, programming, electronics, hydroponics, among other standard STEM offerings. A focal point of the design is the 230-year-old historic white oak where generations of students have rested under its branches. Not only will the tree be maintained, additional precautions are being undertaken to ensure that the tree will both survive and thrive throughout the construction, far into the future.