Press Release: Rock Creek School

Annapolis, MD/September 26, 2017 –  Purposeful Architecture™—a nationally  recognized Special Needs Design Architect Firm—is pleased to announce that it has been selected to lead special needs design efforts for the Rock Creek School Replacement in the Frederick County Public School (FCPS) system, and is teaming as a consultant with local architects Proffitt & Associates and Becker Morgan Group.

Rock Creek School, currently located at 191 Waverley Drive in Frederick City, opened in 1972 as a special education day school and  provides individualized special education programs for Frederick County students with severe intellectual, physical, emotional, hearing, visual and learning disabilities, from age 3 through the school year they reach 21, by offering a  life-skills curriculum with emphasis on functional academic skills, social skills training, community-based instruction, personal management and communication skills. While there have been occasional systemic improvements to the building, no significant renovations or additions have been made in the past 43 years. The design of the new 81,000 gross square foot Rock Creek School will begin with the selection of the site for the replacement school from one of seven potential sites. It is anticipated that the site selection will take no more than four months with design kicking off immediately thereafter. The new school is expected to open in the fall of 2021.

The Special Needs Design component of the Rock Creek School replacement will be led by Cathy Purple Cherry from the Purposeful Architecture team and will entail leading key special needs design workshops and strategies with school staff and team members. Rock Creek School is unique in that it provides education to students who range in age from pre-K to 21 years under the same roof. The youngest students will be supported through design strategies in such a way that the parents are ensured of their safety at the same time as feeling loved and nurtured. The middle and oldest students will be supported to have opportunity throughout their day for active movement, social skills development, academic learning and vocational opportunities.

“We are so very excited to be a part of this important project and talented design team,” said Cathy Purple Cherry, Special Needs Architect and Founder or Purposeful Architecture. “We share Frederick County Public Schools’ dedication to creating a new school that will enhance the educational opportunities for its Rock Creek School students.”

Cathy is not just a Special Needs Architect and Founder of Purposeful Architecture, she is also the mother of an adult son on the Autism spectrum and the sibling of a Down Syndrome brother. She is passionate about designing successful environments for individuals with special needs including Autism and is leading this charge across the country. She brings to all Purposeful Architecture projects a unique sensitivity to the world of special needs and fully understands the methods, programs and environments that most successfully support this incredible group of individuals.

About Purposeful Architecture

Purposeful Architecture™ is a design studio within the architecture firm Purple Cherry Architects located in Annapolis, MD and Charlottesville, VA, and specializes in special needs design. Focused on successfully impacting built environments for children and adults with special needs, Purposeful Architecture works both as a Special Needs Architectural Design Consultant as well as a Special Needs Architect.

As a Special Needs Architectural Design Consultant, Purposeful Architecture provides design support to the building owner, the user or to come alongside a local architecture firm and assist in the development of any project. The firm can be involved at strategic times during the design process to have the most powerful impact on the success of the program. Services can include site assessment, programming, master planning, feasibility studies, concept design, interiors finish selections, coordination with acoustical and sensory consultants, toxicity review, construction documents review, and development of marketing materials for fundraising efforts. The firm can also walk through an existing building and provide direction for modifications that will improve the success of the environment.

As a Special Needs Architect (prime), Purposeful Architecture works as a full-service design firm on a national level, and is available to do complete projects from start to finish. The firm identifies opportunities throughout the design and building process — at the initial steps of planning, during the assembling of the defined spaces, to the selection of interior and exterior materials — to create buildings that support individuals with special needs at the highest level of independence, that elevate their self-esteem and that continuously reinforce learning, growing, life and vocational skills. Purposeful Architecture is about finding individual-centered solutions that allow people with special needs to feel safe and motivated to engage in a learning and living environment that belongs to them.

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Image Credit: The Frederick News-Post