FORT MILL -- Fort Mill elementary schools No. 6 and No. 7 don't have names yet, but hours of thought already have been devoted to their color and textural designs.
Both are being funded with a $70.3 million installment purchase plan, a kind of mortgage the district took just more than a year ago. A law that barred use of IPPs, which do not require voter approval, has since gone into effect.
Scheduled to open in 2009, both schools are being constructed similar to Springfield and Orchard Park elementary schools to reduce design costs. Work has begun at both sites.
"We usually are trying to reflect the building from its environment," said Karen Puthoff, former district assistant superintendent of finance and operations. "We choose schemes for the outside, then bring those colors inside so it's a whole building."
For both buildings, architects LS3P Associates of Charlotte chose an earth-colored brick exterior and earth-oriented tones in the terrazzo flooring, expected to last 50 to 75 years. They used brighter paints without using full primary colors.
"They are calming colors," said LS3P designer Kelly Wagner. "The general thought is to go back to everything natural. Red is prone to stimulate hyperactivity."
Each hallway has its own color scheme, including grassy greens and sky blues. Colors are bright enough to be inviting, but not so striking that they excite the children and cause them to lose concentration.
"Children respond if you tell them you're in the green hallway or the blue hallway," Puthoff said. "You try to give them visual clues."
Here's what they selected:
Elementary school No. 6
This school is on Farmhouse Road in a parcel adjoining Nation Ford High School, so designers wanted to complement the high school's color scheme. The red brick is the same color as Nation Ford's with a medium gray roof. The wall supporting the roof over the foyer is a more earth-brown brick to reflect the stone pillars supporting the entrance roof. Matching stone accents the exterior windows. Comforting earth tones, blacks and silvers on the inside are accented with burgundy, a rich, warm tone removed from excitable primary red on the color spectrum. The media center's Story Time area is decorated with warm, sunny colors. Windows behind the Story Time corner look out onto the school's foyer.
Elementary school No. 7
This school's exterior also is earthen red brick, including pillars supporting the entrance roof. The family who sold the property, on Pleasant Road between S.C. 160 and Gold Hill Road, requested a terra cotta roof that brings in the Carolina clay outside and reflects other terra cotta roofs in the vicinity. The exterior wall supporting the roof over the foyer is a sunny brick that also accents the windows. Wall tiles in the foyer sport grass greens, sky blues and warm sunshine.