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WANDO HIGH SCHOOL

This 437,000 SF high school serves all 2,500 high school students in the Mount Pleasant, SC area. In this “school within a school” design, each classroom wing incorporates the complete basic curriculum spaces required by each grade level in individual “career academies.”  These wings are connected to the school’s “Main Street,” an educational mall housing common areas such as the cafeteria and theater. This overall design provides comfortable flow through the school and allows flexibility for future expansions and renovations.

The school’s 100-acre campus is surrounded by woodlands and residential neighborhoods, and the site design includes the preservation of approximately 25 acres of freshwater wetlands and over 400 significant trees. The façade responds to the wooded site and features outdoor learning labs and social spaces. The concept of “design interrelating with nature” was continued in the outdoor athletic structures, including baseball and softball fields, a stadium field, a track, tennis courts, and a field house.

A key goal for the district was to build a facility could also serve the wider community, and therefore community input was critical to the design process. The 1,000-seat Wando Performing Arts Center, an important cultural center for the Mount Pleasant area, grew from this public input process.

Location: Mt. Pleasant, SC

Size: 437,000 SF

Photographer: Rick Alexander; Wilson Baker