On Aug. 13, the Banneker High community began instruction in their brand-new facility, located a mere 500 feet from the prior one.
The new facility, at 6015 Feldwood Road in College Park, replaces the older, outdated structure with 340,000 square feet full of new amenities and features.
William Bradley, the school’s principal, said thus far, students and faculty have been impressed with their new school building.
“All in all, it is a new, beautiful facility,” he said. “Students are excited and so is the faculty.”
Key features of the school include 99 classrooms housed in five academic and administrative wings, color-coded lockers to differentiate between grade levels, science labs that will also serve as multi-purpose classrooms and a media center on the second floor in the hub of the building.
A total of 1,400 students currently attend the school, a number that Bradley said exceeded initial projections.
“The school is built to house anywhere from about 1,900 to 2,000 students,” he said. “It’s built for growth but we don’t want more than 1,600 this first year.”
The school also has a number of green, environmentally friendly features.
In the front of the campus, there is a wetland area. This area is state protected and allows for natural streams to flow without interruption. Natural light is also incorporated throughout the school and the windows of classrooms on the exterior are tinted to prevent ultraviolet rays from filtering in.
Light-saver switches are present in every room and the hallways, which flicker on once movement is detected, and computers switch off at night.
All of these characteristics fall into line with Banneker’s commitment to being an energy efficient school.
“Those features are good for the ecosystem and are simply good savings,” Bradley said.
Funding for the facility was made possible by the third special purpose local sales option tax, according to Bradley, and although construction on some aspects of the campus — such as the multi-use fields, tennis courts and a career technology wing — are still in the works what has been completed has been of great benefit to students and faculty alike, said Bradley.
“Our teachers have worked miracles,” said Bradley. “It’s has been a tough job but we have loved every minute of it.”