New Princess Anne Middle School highlights innovative classroom styles and eco-friendly elements

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Out with the old, and in with the new.

After demolishing the old Princess Anne Middle School building in Virginia Beach, the new $77.9-million school to replace it is almost finished. 

Executive Director of Facilities Services for Virginia Beach City Public Schools Tony Arnold says it’s about 100,000 square feet bigger than the old one.

“Every space on this site and every place inside and outside this building is a place for teaching and learning,” said Arnold.

10 On Your Side got a hard hat tour of the building as it nears completion.

The hallways are designed for small group learning, and so are the classrooms, which have “think tanks” attached.

There’s also a track above the gym inspired by a middle schooler.

Solar panels will be installed for a smaller carbon footprint. The building also traps rainwater and uses it for flushing toilets. In addition, there’s a green roof with lights that bring in natural light, in turn allowing the building use less electricity.

Plus, there’s tight security.

“You’ve got card swipe systems. You enter the front door you have a security desk. The building has motion sensors and closed television systems,” Arnold explained.

Arnold says the Princess Anne Middle School replacement project stemmed from the old one reaching its life span. It was almost 50 years old. 

He says the students will move into the new building this summer, just in time for school opening in September.

“You’ll see staff and students throughout this entire building. I call it ‘organized educational chaos.’ It’s really a beautiful thing to withhold,” Arnold stated.

This new school is built to last 100 years. 

Arnold says Princess Anne High School is their next big project. He says they are in the planning phases for that.

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