Riverbank Elementary set to open Monday, August 20 at 160 Cougar Drive
Pre-K through Grade 5 school product of merger between B-C Grammar #1 and Pineview Elementary Schools
West Columbia, SC (James Bowers) - Some West Columbia youngsters will have a breathtaking new school to attend when the brand-new Riverbank Elementary School opens at 160 Cougar Drive, across from the Northside Middle School, Monday. The 162,000 square foot, two story facility will service students formerly served by BC Grammar #1 and Pineview Elementary Schools. The beautiful new facility boasts top-of-the-line amenities such as Promethium Active Panel electronic display boards, specialized rooms for purposes such as professional development and academic intervention, and a natural theme in its architecture and decor.
The school will be led by Principal David Sims who was the principal at Riverbanks’s predecessor, Pineview Elementary. The name “Riverbank” was chosen in a contest, beating out other contenders such as “Brookland Elementary.” The name pays homage to the nearby Saluda River and Riverbanks Zoo. The student’s and school’s mascot will be the “Sea Turtles,” a popular animal among the elementary school set.
The building features a “barrel roof” that creates a natural atmosphere, as well as a terrazzo floor design highlighted by a “tree of knowledge” and “ripples of water” that “carry the knowledge throughout the school” according to administrators. The classrooms and other areas feature large windows that allow for lots of natural light which has been shown to have a positive effect on the health of both students and teachers. The natural lighting will be complimented by energy-efficient LED lights. The school will make use of a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system that is also highly energy efficient. Prevalent in the school’s design is a blue-green color scheme complemented by heavy use of woodgrains.
A definite point of pride is the school’s state of the art safety systems. All windows in the school are made of school guard glass, which is extremely difficult to break, meaning that a would-be wrong doer could not successfully penetrate the building before law enforcement arrives. A keyless entry system requires that anyone entering the school have a scan card to access the building. In the event of a threat, an administrator can place the school on lockdown with the touch of a button preventing even passholders from being able to open doors to the facility. First responders and law enforcement do have a way to access the building in such an event.
The school features two playgrounds, one for Pre-Kthrough grade 2, and another for grades 3 thru 5. The cafeteria and gymnasium share one space in order to hold events and provide plenty of space for guests. A retractable soundproof wall partitions the cafeteria and gymnasium during the school day. Computer labs and a resourceful media center are other highlights of the marvelous new building whose construction began in April, 2017. Contractors will still be putting the finishing touches on RES when school starts on Monday.
Officials with the school district said that the choice to build a new school and merger BC #1 and Pineview came as a result of the age of Riverbank’s predecessors. BC Grammar #1 was 65 years old, while Pineview recently reached the half-century mark. The facilities were simply too old to upgrade in a long-term, feasible way, necessitating the creation of Riverbank Elementary. RES is another in a sweeping number of renovation projects for Lexington County School District Two, including the creation of Cayce Elementary and renovations to the district’s other schools such as Airport and Brookland-Cayce Highs.The changes are all financed by a bond referendum passed by voters in 2014.
For more information on Riverbank Elementary, visit https://riverbank.lex2.org/ .