The Barrie School is an independent private school sited on a 45-acre wooded campus along Layhill Road in Montgomery County, MD. The Northwest Branch Stream, within the Bel Pre Creek watershed, separates this heavily forested site in northern Silver Spring into a lower and upper campus.

The educational facilities feature the following:

  • 16 buildings with private road access between the two campuses
  • Athletic fields
  • Ponds
  • An equestrian service area with stables and a riding center.

VIKA was part of the Design Team working with the School’s Board of Trustees, Head of the School, Faculty, Students, and an Architect to create a layout of three new buildings for the upper campus of the School and a new artificial turf athletic field on the lower campus.

The scope included surveying, engineering, and planning services to help secure approval of a Special Exception Modification to the campus master plan for the proposed development. In addition, VIKA worked with Barrie’s project management company, Kramer Consulting, to provide the construction level documents and services for the first phase of improvement: the athletic field.

The athletic field was designed working with the manufacturer, FieldTurfTM, using an engineered system to convey stormwater, via specialized subgrade media, to engineered bio-retention facilities and the Northwest Branch Stream. The bio-retention facilities were designed via Environmental Site Design (ESD) County and State guidelines and regulations for stormwater quality treatment and detention. In addition, the athletic field was specifically sited to create as little environmental impact as possible, especially to the existing forest surrounding the campus.

The Final Forest Conservation Plan approval was key to the Barrie School to create a mechanism to protect the forest, while also giving the school maximum flexibility to allow students and campers to directly engage in activities within the protected areas. VIKA also worked closely with the contractor, Forrester Construction Company, to design the sediment control measures to meet County requirements and enable the school to maintain the functionality of school operations.

The completed construction results in a sustainable athletic field that will help protect the sensitive Bel Pre Creek watershed as well as the surrounding forest.