Easy expansion led to the most significant architectural change in school buildings constructed after World War II. One-story, flat-roofed buildings easily accommodated additions. One-story schools also eliminated the need for staircases and fire escapes from upper floors, contributing to the safety of the new schools. Classrooms located on one floor provided easy access to the outside for the students. One-story schools also provided better lighting and ventilation for the classrooms. Rows of windows across the façade of the schools allowed an abundance of light to enter the classroom.
Architects employed design materials, such as glass blocks, that doubled as a technique to control lighting in schools. Rows of windows contributed to the design aspect of the schools, providing clean lines and breaking the mass of the building dictated by the architectural belief in single story schools.
The open corridor plan, in which classrooms opened directly to an outdoor hall or to an outdoor courtyard, was a popular choice as this plan allowed for cross ventilation and natural lighting in the classrooms. New schools had concrete frames, a solid and cheap building material, with brick veneer to soften the structural materials and to improve the buildings’ aesthetic quality. Classrooms were generally thirty feet by thirty feet with nine-foot ceilings and “window-walls” which provided better lighting and ventilation in the classrooms.
South Carolina's schools constructed under the equalization program followed these post-WWII trends, resulting in architecturally distinctive schools across the state.
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