Congratulations to the Vernon Malone College and Career Academy project team! The new Wake County high school in Raleigh, NC won a Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (TCREW) Champion Award for Community Enhancement at last week’s luncheon and awards ceremony. The Champion Awards luncheon is an annual event that seeks to recognize the many successful real estate projects and individuals that make the Triangle area such a dynamic place to live and do business. The Community Enhancement Award celebrates a public or private project that enhances its community through improved quality of life, aesthetic appeal, and other positive aspects.
The new school was developed in a three-way partnership between the Wake County Government, Wake County Public School System, and Wake Technical Community College, who collaborated on the development of courses for high school use during the day and community college use in the evenings. The adaptive re-use of a former Coca-Cola bottling plant provided opportunities for innovative design, a new facilities model for the school system and community college, and the revitalization of an underused site.
The former Coca-Cola bottling plant that accommodates this innovative curriculum is, itself, an example of transformation. Located just south of downtown Raleigh, the existing campus includes the long, low, single-story brick and block warehouse constructed in the 1950s as well as two pre-engineered metal buildings that were added in the 1970s and 1990s. The site was almost entirely paved, and offered opportunities to reclaim and replant open green space. The adaptive reuse of a vacant site provides a transformative place for a leading-edge curriculum which will encourage students to engage in their education and gain valuable real-world skills which will apply to college or career development.