Family and Community Engagement Center
The Family and Community Engagement Center for Virginia Beach Public Schools provides a space for the school system to interface with parents, students, and the public for the betterment of student education. Constructed as an addition to the existing Plaza Annex, this new building houses a variety of student support functions including pre-school assessment, occupational and physical therapy, planning innovation, and student leadership. The existing Plaza Annex is unique, as it is an adaptive reuse project. The old Plaza Elementary School was no longer needed, and rather than letting it sit unused, the building was adapted to become office and meeting space for VBCPS – thus becoming known as Plaza Annex.
As part of this project, the Professional Development Center inside the existing Plaza Annex was renovated to provide state-of-the-art meeting space for the school system. The Professional Development Center (PDC) is located in what was previously the cafeteria for Plaza Elementary, creating an interesting design challenge to make this space functional without the need for heavy re-construction.
The Family and Community Engagement Center’s design was inspired by a modern version of an industrial warehouse – complete with undulating brick facades, large windows and accented with translucent fiberglass sandwich panel entry canopies.
On the interior, a clerestory window brings light into what would have otherwise been a dark stairwell. Porcelain tile and accent brick provides a durable but attractive interior environment for visitors and staff.