Greater Atlanta Christian Elementary School

The existing Greater Atlanta Christian campus housed a small elementary school and required students to go to other buildings on the campus for physical education, cafeteria functions, and library access. Our charge was to create an elementary school that brought all of the functions of this school together under one roof.

A new Family Center was also planned for this campus. LPBC joined forces with the architect working on that project to coordinate our designs for both to be located on the undeveloped knoll at the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Oakbrook Parkway and Indian Trail Road. These two buildings would be joined by a canopy system. Since the view of this portion of the campus from traffic eastbound from I-85 toward the campus would be significant, our Elementary School site and building presentation from this area need to be give appropriate design emphasis, including careful treatment of service/utility areas.

Other design constraints included a very small site area left on campus to work with, areas of known subsurface rock on the “knoll”, and wetlands areas at the lower street side of the project. Our design evolved into a two-story classroom portion of the building nearest the existing campus, with one story areas for kitchen, cafeteria, media, computer, and gymnasium. The design incorporates two entrance areas. The campus side houses a large “gallery” that is used for a student lobby for bus queuing and for after hours gatherings such as art shows and small concerts. The “street side” is the main lobby for car riders and for parents or other guests coming into the building. Both lobbies terminate at the administration suite.

The cafeteria design features large windows facing downhill and an outdoor dining courtyard. The gymnasium has a unique curved lower wall facing Oakbrook Parkway, and is the focal point of the building from the road. It is two stories, with the court and bleacher section on the lower level, and a running track on the upper level accessed from the main school level. The construction is steel frame, masonry walls with brick veneer, and standing seam metal roofs. Mechanical systems use water-source heat pumps to heat and cool most areas.

Norcross, GA
Number of Classrooms
9.1 (project site)
Gross Square Feet
Construction Cost
Construction Start
April 2002
Completion Date
June 2003
Greater Atlanta Christian
R.J. Griffin & Company