Campus Area Planning Study

Woodberry Forest School - Woodberry Forest, VA


What was once the estate property of William Madison (brother of James Madison), was acquired by Robert Stringfellow Walker, famed Virginia civil war cavalry captain. Walker originally founded the school in 1889 to provide schooling for his and a handful of other children living within the Madison, Virginia area and eventually grew to the current campus area of approximately 1,200 acres, with more than 400 students.

Aside from the school’s tradition of a student lead governance, honor system and regulation of conduct, Woodberry has a rich and storied athletic history that spans more than 100 years and fierce long running rivalries with other Virginia area prep schools, ritually attracting large crowds of alumnae and fan spectators.  Woodberry competes within Virginia Prep League basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, swimming, lacrosse, wrestling, cross country, tennis, track, and football athletics. To facilitate the latter mentioned sports programs, the school provides a campus area golf course, indoor track/pool complex, turf football/lacrosse fields, baseball fields and competition-level soccer fields.

In 2011, Bartzen & Ball Architects (one of B&B’s firm principals is an alumnae of the forest school), brought KBLA into a campus area planning study, for the review of an area that can be described as a central hub for both vehicular and pedestrian circulation. The two main roads that enter into the Woodberry campus acreage, converge at this central location and for what was intended to be a main arrival space entrance into the school campus, currently appears and functions as a utilitarian loading area, delivery drop off, parking lot and a secondary entrance.  Our study of this campus space has provided a creative exploration and proposal for existing parking relocation/expansion, re-tooling of pedestrian & vehicular circulation for more pedestrian-centric environment, as well as provide enhanced sense of place, school identity and arrival destination.

During the above mentioned collaboration, a parallel and ongoing cafeteria & administrative building renovation provided an additional dynamic and component piece to our strategy for future programmatic use of this space and the re-purposing of under-utilized adjacent campus areas.  Considerations were taken into account for a new temporary mixed-use athletic/dinning facility, to meet both temporary dinning renovation displacements and house future athletic off-shoot use for indoor campus gymnasium

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