Hickory Ridge Elementary School
Cabarrus County Schools officially opened the doors to the new Hickory Ridge Elementary School, home of the Cowboys, on August 17, 2020 to students and staff. With over 40 classroom spaces, this school boasts some of the district's most colorful, inviting and fun educational spaces yet for the students of Cabarrus County.
Hickory Ridge Elementary School is the district's 20th elementary school. Its location in the southwest portion of Cabarrus County has helped ease a rapidly growing population of kids in this area. With over 128,000 square feet of space, the school is able to handle 940 students annually from the Town of Harrisburg and surrounding communities.
As you enter the school, large wayfinding signs are affixed to the wall helping to provide some guidance to the facility and where each grade level is located. Each classroom wing was given a coordinating color to help students identify where their classes are. The yellow wing is home to kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms and is situated on a ground level space. This allows for access to their dedicated playground space built solely for them. It also provides a means of secondary egress due to the required classroom size as defined by NCDPI. The location of this wing was programmed and designed in an area that allows for easy access by administrators and visitors as well. The 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms, or purple and lime wings, is one of two, multi-story classroom spaces in the building. Eight (8) 2nd grade classrooms are on the main level and eight (8) 3rd grade classrooms are on the upper level, along with group toilets and teacher work stations on each wing. The 4th and 5th grade wings, or orange and red wings, are in the second multi-story classroom wing. Six (6) 4th grade classrooms are on the main level and six (6) 5th grade classrooms are on the upper level. These wings have a unique element at each entrance with an open, collaborative seating space, allowing educators the ability to have small group break-out sessions or even have their entire class in this area. The Exceptional Children spaces along with music and art are located on the blue hall and on ground level as well. EC students have their own entrance as needed and art has an outdoor project patio.
The large open concept spaces offer students and educators the ability to have creative and collaborative learning environments. The media center has a dedicated teaching space complete with white boards and TV providing multiple ways to cast information. This will be used for classroom time, staff functions, grade level meetings and general learning space. Small collaborative break-out spaces are built into the media center design for groups of 3-5 students allowing them to work on projects in a smaller, quieter space. The main commons area as you enter from the lobby is a beautiful two story design that steps down into an open concept tiered seating space designed for collaborative learning for one, two or even three classes at a time. It can also be overflow space for bus riders if they need to have a space to stage kids. The cafeteria space is colorful, creative and just full of fun for students and staff. Café counter seating was designed for visitors who want to eat with their children and charging stations are a part of this space as well. A blend of table shapes help provide some creativity and uniqueness to this space for everyone. Directly beside the cafeteria is the ‘Gymatorium’ as we call it. This area has a full-size basketball court with bleachers and a stage space that will be used for assemblies. This gym will be utilized by local recreation departments for non-school sanctioned events as well.
The exterior of the campus has two playground spaces, one for kindergarten and 1st grade and the other for 2nd-5th grades. An outdoor basketball court and multi-purpose field are also a part of this facility. A dedicated bus entrance completely separate from the parent drop off/staff/visitor entrance was designed as NCDPI recommends. And finally, the road improvements that were a part of this project included a newly constructed round-a-bout entrance off of Hickory Ridge Road.
So with that, welcome Hickory Ridge Elementary School Cowboys to Cabarrus County Schools…have a great year!
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