Douglass School

Leesburg, Virginia

Working with Beyer Blinder Belle, LSG Landscape Architecture prepared a detailed programming study and plans for The Douglass School, located on a 12.5 acre site in a historic district and corridor in Leesburg, Virginia. The project includes the renovation of a former African American High School into program office spaces for Loudoun County Public Schools, and site design for a jointly situated community park and preschool facility run by Loudoun County Parks and Recreation. In addition to renovating parking and non-accessible circulation, the project involves a playground and picnic pavilion, a basketball court, an informal recreational field, an in-line hockey rink and outdoor learning spaces. Courtyards adjacent to the building provide amenity space for building users and overflow gathering spaces for community meeting room functions. A new connection from the adjacent shared-use Washington and Old Dominion Trail is made through the site to Market Street. PUBLIC OUTREACH Community engagement and public outreach were an integral part of the planning and design process for the Douglass School. The School has an active alumni group that honors the legacy of the school founders and graduates, and has provided invaluable insights into the history of the building and property. Numerous meetings and open table discussions have been held to present and get feedback on design. The project team also conducted interviews and tours with the new building user groups to assess needs and desires, and held open forums for community members and park users to review and discuss site improvement plans. MASTER PLANNING The programming and master plan creation for the site consisted of extensive rounds of interviews with new potential user groups, facilities tours, and discussions with current site user groups. A thorough site analysis was conducted over multiple site visits, documenting site conditions and inventory, and current use patterns. The site’s overall condition, circulation, accessibility, drainage, vegetation, and other elements were reviewed for their current condition and their practicality in meeting future needs. A thorough report combining various team members’ assessments and recommendations was presented to Loudoun County.

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