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Bristol County Agricultural High School

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Project description

The redesign of the Bristol County Agricultural High School campus reflects the school’s strong ties to the natural environment and a unique curriculum rooted in science and environmental education. A strategic expansion from 450 to 640 students required new construction, additions and renovations to connect the school’s seven vocational technical education (CTE) programs – agricultural mechanics/diesel technology, animal science, arboriculture, environment, floriculture, landscaping and contracting, and natural resource management – with traditional academics.

The new campus is designed as a place of discovery where the new buildings feature a wide range of highly sustainable building systems, including massive timber frames, solar panels, green roofs, compost toilets and other measures. water conservation. With a focus on hands-on learning experiences and a commitment to reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions and water consumption, Bristol Aggie achieves distinct sustainability goals developed for each building through close collaboration with students, educators and community members: the new Center for Science and the Environment (CSE) is a living learning lab comprised of flexible classrooms and tech lab spaces designed to achieve the LEED Gold certification; the new Dairy Barn is ready for net-zero energy consumption; the renovation of Gilbert Hall, a university building, is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification; and the Student Commons showcases its solid wood frame as a low-carbon, high-performance building alternative.

To reinforce the hands-on skills-based learning educational model, every aspect of the Bristol Aggie campus is designed as an educational tool. A one-of-a-kind indoor climbing structure allows arboriculture students to practice tree-climbing skills year-round, while a natural history museum curated by CSE students occupies a hallway to encourage students from different programs interact with the exhibits as they pass by. In the new all-electric dairy barn, advanced robotic milking technology regulates the production schedule, and an observation lab allows students to easily monitor herd health and production levels.

Set on 220 acres of working farmland which slopes gently down to the River Dighton, Bristol Aggie has a strong connection to its natural surroundings. The design of the campus reinforces this link, making evident the close links between the school and the landscape through the campus which is crossed by a public road. A new pedestrian column safely connects the campus and its many buildings with outdoor amphitheater-style seating used for meals, meetings and informal events; a grassy communal area for gathering and socializing; and rooftop and outdoor academic spaces that support project-based learning and promote environmental stewardship.