Gwinnett’s First STEM Certified HS Continues Path Of Excellence
GSMST is Gwinnett County Public Schools’ (GCPS) first charter school and is devoted to teaching students who show a strong interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. GCPS is the largest school system in Georgia. This unique project presented Hussey Gay Bell with the challenge of designing a 1,200 student STEM high school (with expandability to 2,000) on a small 25-acre site shared with two (2) existing schools. Rather than tearing down the older schools, Hussey Gay Bell’s creative solution called for the complete renovation of the former elementary school and special education school and incorporating them into the new High School design. By renovating 100,000 SF of existing usable space, the owner realized great savings in construction cost and time. The old schools were converted into the kitchen/cafeteria area and 40 state-of-the-art general purpose classrooms. The new 260,000 SF tower was carefully designed to fit between the existing buildings. The new tower added 80 new teaching spaces comprised of general purpose classrooms, science classrooms and various specialty labs along with administration, lecture halls, band and chorus, and the media center. The need for future expansion to 2,000 students was accomplished by providing shell space on the fifth floor.
Since completion, this project has been awarded the prestigious Award of Excellence from the American Concrete Institute in the Mid-Rise Buildings category; was the first high school in Georgia to be STEM certified (2013); has received the Platinum Award in the Highest Performance category from the Georgia Department of Education; and has been ranked the best high school in Georgia numerous times.