The Macon and Joan Brock Classroom

The Macon F. and Joan P. Brock Classroom - Tymoff+Moss Architects-1171c593

This conceptual drawing shows the proposed new classroom addition on the east end of CBF's Brock Environmental Center (right).

Tymoff+Moss Architects

Building Forward

As we adapt to a post-pandemic world, the environmental leaders of tomorrow will soon have a pioneering new education center to call their own. When hands-on learning can restart, we’ll be ready. Virginia Beach City Public Schools and CBF are partnering on a new environmental science program for high school students at CBF's Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach. The program will use the Brock Center and its natural surroundings to broaden students' understanding of sustainability and the environment.

There's nothing more important than educating the next generation about the environment and sustainability. A classroom at Pleasure House Point opens a world of exciting possibilities that will have a ripple effect on the community and beyond for years to come. I'm so proud to support this mission.

—Joan Brock

The program will be based at a new classroom that will mirror the Brock Center in both design and function, matching its look and following the same strict sustainability practices that allow the Brock Center to be a world leader in sustainable design and construction.

This effort is a continuation of a 25-year partnership between CBF and Virginia Beach City Public Schools, both of which are nationally recognized for their sustainable buildings and green initiatives. We're working together on a cutting-edge concept in education that will educate local students, train teachers, and inspire the next generation of leaders.

The new classroom at the Brock Center is made possible thanks to a generous donation by Joan Brock.

CBF also offers educational field experiences at the Brock Center and other areas in Virginia through our Environmental Education programs.

Download a PDF of the July 30, 2019 community meeting presentation.


FAQ: Classroom at the Brock Center

Why is CBF building a sustainable classroom at the Brock Center? 
Virginia Beach City Public Schools first approached CBF in 2016 about hosting this innovative new concept at the Brock Center. CBF is working closely with the community and school division on new ways to protect the beautiful Pleasure House Point campus while educating and inspiring local students and the community. A model sustainable classroom will add to the existing education programs at the Brock Center.

What is the schedule for building and opening the classroom?
Site preparation began in April 2020 and construction is expected to run from late spring until late fall, with students ready to move into the classroom by the end of the calendar year.

The school system’s Environmental Studies Program will begin with the new school year in fall 2020. For the first few months, students will attend class in the Brock Center and outdoor spaces as the new classroom is being completed.

Where is the classroom being built?
The classroom will be added to the east end of CBF's Brock Center with minimal impact to the surrounding environment. It lies more than 200 feet from the shoreline to leave a protective buffer along the Lynnhaven River. This location will provide the classroom with natural Bay breezes and take advantage of daylight to reduce energy needs, mirroring the Brock Center's energy-efficient design.

How has the community been involved in the process?
CBF hosted several community meetings throughout 2019 to inform the community about the project and the classroom design. Additional sessions will be held as needed. Individuals can also provide input by contacting CBF's Brock Center Manager Chris Gorri directly at cgorri@cbf.org.

Will the classroom be as sustainable as the Brock Center?
Yes, the classroom will follow all the same sustainable principles used at the Brock Center, including energy efficiency, renewable power, drinkable rainwater, composting toilets, and a low-impact design.

Which architects and contractors are working on the classroom?
Norfolk-based Tymoff+Moss Architects have led the design of the project, while Conrad Brothers, also locally based, is the contractor building the classroom. Civil engineering firm WPL, based in Virginia Beach, completed the site design master plan for Pleasure House Point, the Brock Center, and the classroom. Additional support has come from the team that designed and built the Brock Center, including Greg Mella of the architecture firm SmithGroup and Hourigan Construction. CBF is excited to have such a strong and knowledgeable team to make this project come to life.

Will the classroom follow design principles similar to the Brock Center?
Yes. In addition to using similar sustainable features, the classroom's design follows the same principles as the Brock Center to complement the existing building and surrounding beauty of Pleasure House Point.

How are trees on Pleasure House Point being protected while the classroom is built?
Trees in the classroom footprint, including live oaks, cedars, and loblolly pines, were transplanted to protected areas near the construction site and around the Brock Center property. CBF will also plant ten new trees around the property after construction is complete.

Will there be additional wind turbines added to the Pleasure House Point Property?
No. The classroom will rely on the excess energy produced by the Brock Center, with added solar panels if needed.

Who will build and who will operate the classroom?
A generous donation from Joan Brock will cover the cost of building the classroom. Virginia Beach City Public Schools will cover the cost of anything directly related to educating its students in the new classroom.

What is the goal of the new Virginia Beach City Public Schools Environmental Studies Program?
The Environmental Studies Program will empower students to broaden their understanding of sustainability and the environment by using the Brock Center and surrounding natural community, implementing environmental service-learning projects, and integrating interdisciplinary instruction. To learn more visit www.vbschools.com/esp or follow the program on Twitter @VBEnvStudies.

Where will school buses and students park?
The buses will drop students off at the end of Marlin Bay Drive at the same bus parking area currently used by visiting school groups. From there, students will walk the natural path from Marlin Bay Drive to the classroom. Students that choose to drive to the classroom will also be required to park along Marlin Bay Drive and use the trail.

How large will the classroom building be?
The classroom will be approximately 1,600 square feet.

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered here? If so, please contact Chris Gorri, CBF’s Brock Environmental Center Manager, at cgorri@cbf.org.

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