When it came time to furnish its all-new high school, Idaho’s Vallivue School District teamed with Virco, taking full advantage of Virco’s PlanSCAPE service to design a fresh and contemporary mix of furniture within a fixed budget.
In fall of 2016, the all-new Ridgevue High School opened its doors to 1,100 students in southwestern Idaho’s Treasure Valley. The new state-of-the-art learning facility was approved for a $50.8 million bond in 2013 to help alleviate the overcrowding in the district. Before they could open, the 250,000-square-foot-school needed furniture for its 60 classrooms, 900-seat auditorium, 1,000-seat common area and cafeteria. For that, Vallivue School District turned to Virco.
As Ridgevue’s main building took shape, the principal and school planners started to develop a vision for the spaces; a contemporary campus that supported all types of student engagement and learning while maintaining a consistent, transitional look throughout spaces. The school district chose Virco to furnish and equip its new high school largely due to its PlanSCAPE service, which allowed planners to see their vision of a cohesive mix of chairs, desks, tables and equipment come to life in the new space.
Virco’s PlanSCAPE team created room layouts and brought furniture samples to the site so district planners could compare the features and benefits of various product lines. School officials and the planning team took a tour of the Virco facilities; the district then purchased through Virco’s convenient, cost-saving U.S. Communities contract.
Classroom Solutions: Ridgevue classrooms are outfitted with ZUMA Series rectangular desks, ZUMA Civitas chairs and TEXT Series Tilt-Top Tables. The ZUMA Series rectangular desks were chosen for their space-saving footprint, while the ZUMA Civitas chairs add a contemporary flair. TEXT tables round out the functionality of the classroom environment for an additional work surface.
Cafeteria Solutions: The idea for the cafeteria was to create a “higher education” look while accommodating 600 students per lunch period – in a multi-functional space that could also accommodate community meetings and special events. PlanSCAPE delivered with a design that featured a variety of table heights and shapes and a mix of chairs and laminates, for a solution that brought the vision to life while remaining within budget.
Library Solutions: The PlanSCAPE team also provided cost-saving furniture solutions for the library by creating a similar look and feel to a higher priced all-wood library with individual and multi-student soft-seating stations throughout the space.
“We are four months into our school year and have been pleased with our Virco product throughout the school. The PlanSCAPE team asked what we hoped to achieve in various spaces within our school, then offered suggestions and used technology to ensure that our furniture choice fit within the spaces. We wanted spaces that increased educational opportunities and also meeting spaces that encouraged a sense of community. We also wanted a cost effective solution in terms of well-constructed furniture and maintenance.
We originally were working with someone from a different company. It became clear that he was unable to get past his vision instead of allowing us to select furniture that fit within our vision and price range. Working with the PlanSCAPE team was a totally different experience. They asked us what we wanted to accomplish in each space, then showed us a variety of options and price ranges. The team went room by room and created a spreadsheet that ensured that we had everything we needed to open our school. The team was there when we needed them and steered us in the right direction in every furniture choice.
One of the main ways PlanSCAPE saved us money and time was by ensuring our purchases were exactly what we wanted. We did not have to return one item. We looked at a number of chairs and desks for our classrooms, most of which were much more-costly than our Virco products; both students and staff say that what we purchased is both functional and “cool looking”.
Without a doubt, the opportunity to visit the Virco plant in Arkansas with our PlanSCAPE team was my most memorable experience and something that I will always treasure. Not only is it evident that the people who work in the various areas of the company are dedicated to creating a quality product, but they also realize that what they make will be part of making an educational experience worthy of our students and staff.
Our students and staff have commented on appreciating the functionality of separate desks and chairs, but the various shaped tables in the food court area, especially the café tables have been a huge hit with students. It is well worth having the set up team unbox, put together, and move the furniture into each room. They ensure every piece is in perfect condition and even removed the packing material. I could not be more pleased with the furniture and the after-purchase care we have received.”
Julie K. Yamamoto, Principal, Ridgevue High School (Vallivue School District)