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IGAL Academy receives Learning By Design 2023 Outstanding Project

November 30, 2023 · Accolades, Projects

IGAL Academy

Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC) is pleased to announce Washington County Schools’ Innovative Gifted Accelerated Learning (IGAL) Academy in Sandersville, Georgia received an Outstanding Project Award from Learning By Design magazine.

What used to be a bleak juvenile justice building is now a thriving and innovative school that serves students of Washington County, Georgia. The IGAL Academy is a cutting-edge facility that focuses on STEAM curriculum for elementary students as well as culinary arts for high school students. The school district had a vision of bringing this facility back to life, tasking GMC architects with implementing an innovative design to transform the space into a welcoming and vibrant environment.

GMC’s restorative design can be seen throughout the 13,500-square-foot structure, eliminating jail cells and replacing them with hands-on learning spaces.

The space was intentionally designed to keep students engaged and attentive using specific solutions. Emphasis was placed on lighting levels, color theory and textures to enrich the built environment for students. Research was focused on how colors affect children’s learning. Warm colors are used to engage the younger students while more neutral colors are used to calm the older students.

The team designed each classroom space to feature flexible, hanging shelving and organizational surfaces along with mobile teaching technology ensuring teachers can reorganize their rooms to best serve their educational tasks and curricula. At the Academy, students will rotate through the building every four weeks, with classes related to hydroponics, coding, robotics and forensics.

The IGAL Academy borders Washington County High School’s campus which also allows high school students to utilize the state-of-the-art culinary classroom. Other additions include a space for performing arts and new tennis courts, both of which can accommodate events that bring the community together.

GMC served as the architect in addition to serving as the civil engineer, landscape architect and electrical engineer. Other project team members included PES Structural Engineers, Matheson-Ball & Associates and Carroll Daniel Construction Company.

Click here to view the full feature on page 68 of Learning By Design.