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Madison Primary School Renovation

Madison, Virginia


Madison County Public Schools


54,000 sf


Renovation + Addition

Designed in the mid-70s, Madison Primary was constructed with open concept classroom pods as was common at the time. As a result of this unpopular design, temporary metal partitions were added decades ago to divide the pods into classrooms.  Those “temporary” metal dividers have remained ever since, as have the issues of noise migrating between classrooms, and inability to retrofit walls with power, data, or plumbing. Additionally, HVAC, power and lighting systems were outdated, toilet rooms and stage inaccessible, and there was no secure check in at the Main Office. Madison Primary was in dire need of an upgrade.

A new diagonal main street connects the four grade-level pods and the gymnasium with one central spine, increasing space efficiency. Each grade level pod is reorganized around a central collaborative learning zone and includes a flexible classroom that can serve different needs depending on grade-level enrollment. All classrooms are now separated with “real walls” (Hooray! cried the teachers) that extend to the roof deck with high sound transmission resistance and integrated power and data. White board writing surfaces are included on built-in storage casework for flexibility in teaching walls.

A new stage in the cafeteria connects directly to the music room for “back stage” and “green room” use.  Library and art spaces have grown and been moved to prominent locations along main street.  A small addition at the front of the school creates a secure entry vestibule. All systems — HVAC, lighting, power and life safety systems — have been replaced; the transformed school is fully accessible.

Grimm and Parker Architects - Madison Primary

Closing Thoughts

A total transformation.