Designed by Perkins+Will as a LEED Silver building, the new 1,600-student Arabia Mountain High School sits on the edge of the Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve in Lithonia, Georgia. The 230,000-sf building is oriented with the classrooms facing north and south with large expanses of glass to capture the view of the Preserve, allow natural light deep into the classrooms, and maximize energy efficiency.
Bioswales along the building capture the rain water from the roof drains and clean the run-off before it is returned to the natural stream system. Brick in combination with metal panels clad the facade providing a fresh look for this new sustainable high school. High performance glass and overhangs are used helping to minimize energy consumption.
The building is divided into three smaller learning communities which can be used for academies, for a ninth grade house, or in support of various magnet programs. A continuous spine with shared science and career tech labs runs adjacent to the smaller learning communities. Assistant principals and counselors are distributed throughout the learning communities making supervision and support readily available. Arabia Mountain is innovative in its educational planning and sustainable design.