K-12 Education: Student Centered, Community Affirming

What makes a school strong? Community. And what makes a community great? Schools.

Shockey is honored to work with communities throughout Virginia and West Virginia to build affirming environments for learning, health, and happiness. Our K-12 expertise is informed by decades of building millions upon millions of square feet of student-centered space. Investments in schools can be transformative for a local economy as well as for the students who attend, and we are proud to partner with school districts to build attractive, safe, energy-efficient spaces that are reflective of the communities in which they are located. A few of our recent projects, by age cohort:


Elaine E. Thompson Elementary School, Sterling

Design Partner: Stantec Architecture

Built on 13 acres, for 960 students, this 113,600-SF facility is the first three-story school in Loudoun County.

Cool fact: the building’s own solar panels generate 40% of the school’s power.

River City Middle School, Richmond

Design Partner: RRMM Architecture

The Craftsman-inspired design of this 183,000-SF, two-story school is based around three wings, organized into two zones: public spaces are spread across the front of the building, and three dedicated “grade houses” line up at the rear.

Cool fact: A 680-person theater space is open to the neighborhood for special events, including live performances and church functions.

Lightridge High School, South Dulles

Design Partner: MFTA Architecture

This 305,000-SF school uses Loudoun County’s new two-story high school design prototype, featuring a mix of masonry and glass, with interior courtyards.

Cool fact: 50% of the 151-acre site was preserved as open space.

What Type of Contract is Best?

K-12 environments are becoming ever more complex, and delivery schedules are shorter. When Shockey is involved early in the project, we can provide input into the design to reduce change orders, leading to cost savings and a shortened construction duration. Choosing the right project delivery system is a critical part of the decision-making process. There are three primary methods:

» Construction Manager at Risk

With the CM at risk approach, the owner hires the construction management firm as its consultant in the initial stages of a project. This process delivers excellent results as the construction manager acts in the owner’s best interests while working closely with the design team from day one. Collaboration and relationship-building are hallmarks of the CM at-risk delivery method, with the owner, architect/design firms, and CM at risk working together to produce optimal results. This method is often best suited for large renovation or new construction projects with a strict schedule, or those that may be susceptible to changes due to multiple phases, unusual complexity, or a large measure of coordination between disciplines. We take on the budget risk and provide nonstop advisory project management, all while agreeing to a guaranteed maximum price (GMP). The process is fully transparent, and an open-book format is used.

» Design-Build

In a design-build delivery model, the architecture, engineering, and construction process are all streamlined for optimum efficiency. Once our design-build team is in motion, the project owner gains single-source accountability for easier communication and control. The architect and builder collaborate at each stage of the project, influencing and optimizing architectural design and materials decisions and identifying the best construction solutions. An open-book, guaranteed maximum price (GMP) is determined early in the process.

» Design-Bid-Build

In this method, the most traditional delivery system for K-12s, the owner first hires an architectural firm that completes the construction documents. When the plan is approved, the project is put up for bid, and a contractor decision is based on lowest cost.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Shockey’s reputation as a trusted educational partner has been borne out of decades of K-12 projects successfully delivered via all of these contract models. In 2021, Shockey was recognized as one of the best school contractors in the United States by General Contractors magazine. When it’s time to choose your next builder, look to the Shockey team for knowledge, expertise, financial strength, and a proven track record for integrity and collaboration.

Learn more about partnering with Shockey on your school district’s next new construction, expansion, or renovation project by contacting us today.