Charles R. Drew Charter School Junior & Senior Academy

1315 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Ken Higa

Project Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Completion Date: 07/01/2014

Builder: JE Dunn Construction

Builder Address: 770-551-8883,

Architects Involved:
Barbara Crum AIA / John Poelker, AIA / Manuel Cadrecha, AIA / Neda Ghani

Engineers Involved:
Structural Engineer: Uzun+Case, LLC / 678.553.5200 /; Civil Engineer: Pharr Engineering Associates, LLC / 770.447.6400 /; MEP Engineer: Newcomb and Boyd / (404) 730-8400 /

Additional Team:
Acoustical: Arpeggio / 404 460 8081 / Theater: Stagefront Presentation / 770 475 4984 / Food Service: Camacho Associates / 770 582 1144 / Commissioning: Working Buildings / 678 990 8001 / Technology: Waveguide / 404 815 1919 /

Project Description

Expansively spreading across the rise of a hill, the crescent-shaped Charles R. Drew Charter School Junior and Senior Academy proudly embraces its pastoral campus near downtown Atlanta. Set on one of the highest points in the city, the new campus is located on what was once the ‘back nine’ of a public golf course, and finds inspiration in the existing landscape forms and views to the city beyond.

Located in an area that was once notorious for being one of the most impoverished, crime-ridden communities in America, this signature building is a new symbol for the community’s transformation, and completes the vision of this charter school’s leadership to transform lives through a “cradle-to-college” education. To help achieve this vision, the design team embraced the challenge to create a 21st century facility that would prepare students to succeed in a world that is constantly changing, global, and technologically driven.

As the program evolved, the new building was designed to house a relocated and expanded 6th through 8th grade and the new 9th through 12th grade. The public front door is on the building’s south facade while the main classroom level has on-grade access on the north side of the building. A large four-story lobby atrium which is incorporated into the shared Learning Commons separates the Middle School on the high end of the site from the High School on the lower end of the site. This atrium and stair with stadium seating at the main entrance acts as the circulation linchpin for the 205,000-square-foot school.