Modernized Schools

Waller, Todd & Sadler, A Woolpert Company, to Design Modernized Northampton Middle/High School, Career Technology Education Building
Posted on 04/27/2021

Model of Northampton High School

The $40 million project shows the county’s commitment to advance the technology, safety and educational needs of the school, located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Press Release from Woolpert Company

EASTVILLE, Va. (April 27, 2021) — Waller, Todd & Sadler, A Woolpert Company, has been selected by the Northampton County Board of Supervisors and Northampton County Public Schools to design, renovate and modernize the 35-acre Northampton Middle/High School campus in Eastville, Va.

The approximate, $40 million budget includes construction costs as well as design and construction management fees, permits and other owner costs necessary to provide a modernized facility, which will house the middle and high school and provide distinct, technologically advanced and secure educational environments. The cost of modernized furniture, fixtures and equipment is included in the project budget. Waller, Todd & Sadler also will update the adjacent Career Technology Education building and provide desired amenities for the community.

The separate and shared needs of the division’s middle school and high school students are central to this project. More than 43,000 square feet of the existing school will be demolished, about 55,000 square feet will be renovated and about 78,000 square feet will be added, as the school expands its footprint from 110,000 square feet to about 145,000 square feet. This will include an addition for a dedicated wing for grades six through eight and will complement a remodeled wing for grades nine through 12.

Both schools will have their own classrooms, locker rooms and gyms, and the schools will share an auditorium, elective spaces and a common area. The kitchen and cafeteria will have a middle school side and a high school side, with an operable partition to enable the space to expand for many uses. Water service will be improved to the site, and the electrical, lighting and HVAC systems will be updated or replaced.

The school and the CTE building will benefit from the latest technology, with classrooms equipped to support 21st-century education. Computer science, agriculture and aquaponics will be added to the CTE’s business and industry trade programs, which students can intersperse with traditional high school classes.

Waller, Todd & Sadler has been working with the county and school board to develop concepts and plans for the combined middle school and high school since March 2019. The Virginia-based firm, which was acquired by Woolpert in January 2019, conducted structural and modernization studies of the facility that included a detailed cost-benefit analysis per the division’s priorities, needs and budget.

“Since the former stand-alone high school absorbed middle schoolers over time, there is not a strong sense of community for either school,” said Maureen McElfresh, Woolpert architectural project manager. “By strategically renovating the existing facility per school, staff and public feedback, the division can provide sixth- through 12th-grade students with distinct, appropriate and state-of-the-art educational amenities, while promoting the identity of each school and the community as a whole.”

McElfresh said plans also call for a security vestibule and secure entry points for safe access for students to and from the school, the CTE building and buses. Parking will be made convenient to the main entrances for students, staff and the public, and traffic will be eliminated between the CTE and the school facility to improve student safety. There will be a dedicated bus loop, designated truck access for kitchen deliveries and improved access to athletic fields. The auditorium, cafeteria space and both gyms also will be available for public use after school hours upon approval of a facility use application.

The design phase of this project is underway. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2022, with the fully renovated facilities projected to be completed by summer 2024. The existing school will remain open during this phased construction.

Aerial view of new school design.

About Waller, Todd & Sadler, a Woolpert Company
Waller, Todd & Sadler, a Woolpert Company, offers architecture, planning, interior design and LEED services to both public and private sector clients. It is a testimony to the firm’s professional abilities and commitment to customer service that approximately 90 percent of Waller, Todd & Sadler’s work is from repeat clients. Woolpert is a premier architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG) and strategic consulting firm, which serves public, private and government clients worldwide. Woolpert is an ENR Top 150 Global Design Firm, recently earned its fifth-straight Great Place to Work certification and actively nurtures a culture of growth, inclusion, diversity and respect. The firm has over 1,100 employees and 42 offices in three countries. For more, visit