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BASIS Independent opens first Tysons Corner, Va. school | Business

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BASIS Independent opens first Tysons Corner, Va. school
BASIS Independent opens first Tysons Corner, Va. school

More than 40 teachers and nearly 300 DC-area students were welcomed by Sean Aiken, head of school of BASIS Independent McLean, Va., who opened the doors to Tysons Corner, Va.’s first prek-12 school.  Located at 8000 Jones Branch Drive in McLean, Va., the 120,000 square-foot private school designed by Gilbane Perkins Eastman Design has more than 23 classrooms, as well as a gymnasium, chemistry, biology and physics laboratories, demonstration and reading rooms, full-service cafeteria and indoor and outdoor play areas. For more information, go to http://mclean.basisindependent.com or call 703.854.1253.

Classroom size can vary, but averages around 17 students. In addition to the traditional classrooms, BASIS Independent McLean offers an industrial arts room, a theater, music rooms and art rooms connected by a kiln. Designed to be energy-efficient, every BASIS Independent McLean classroom has its own climate control, with programmable light settings, while natural light prevails in the school with its four-story glass arch atrium and five additional light wells in the Great Hall (cafeteria area) that illuminate natural light in classrooms as well. The cafeteria is often referred to as the Great Hall, and includes round tables, farm tables, café seating and a recreation room. Several breakout and demonstration areas are throughout the school for simulations, collaboration, and lab equipment. Science labs provide lecture space and experiment space, along with fume hoods and demonstration areas.  A reading room has dedicated study lounges and conference rooms, while the BASIS Independent McLean gym is two stories with natural light, and visibility into college counseling and art gallery spaces. The early childhood (preK-K) area has its own entrance and a multi-purpose atrium with indoor and outdoor play areas, and specially designed classrooms for younger students.

"We’re thrilled to see all the students and begin a new chapter of education in Tysons Corner” said Sean Aiken, head of school of BASIS Independent McLean, McLean, Va. “The school’s design and classrooms are reflective of our teaching and education philosophy, providing engaging tools, spaces and environments that nurture, invite and challenge our students in learning,” said Aiken.

Aiken was a crucial member of the leadership team that built BASIS Oro Valley in Arizona which was ranked number one by the Washington Post in 2015 and, again in 2016.As an English teacher, soccer coach, developer of the first 7th grade Logic curriculum, the school's founding college counselor and finally the Head of School, his influence on the school community was profound. In 2013, Mr. Aiken relocated to Washington D.C. where, as Head of School, he led BASIS Washington DC and its faculty to achieve Tier 1 status and recognition as the #2 charter school in Washington, D.C. in only the school's second year of operation.  He subsequently oversaw the opening of BASIS Independent of Brooklyn, N.Y. and BASIS Independent of Silicon Valley, Calif. and has also served as VP Intellectual Capital managing the structure and implementation of the BASIS.ed curriculum.

The former corporate headquarters campus for Fannie Mae, BASIS Independent McLean is an environment uniquely suited for its liberal arts and science programs. In total, the three-story commercial property that is being repositioned to ultimately accommodate up to 1,250 students. The initial phase converted approximately 120,000 square feet of the commercial space into classrooms, labs, athletic space, administrative space and a central atrium.

“Repositioning an old corporate headquarters into a collaborative learning environment for BASIS Independent McLean was a really unique situation; it involved applying not only our K-12 experience but also our corporate office experience…you just don’t see that every day,” says Drew Mucci, senior vice president at Gilbane Building Company.  “This project was particularly important to us because the school employs a STEM-focused curriculum, a project that gives us a chance to support the industry and hopefully inspire students to pursue careers in construction too, ” said Mucci.

About Gilbane and Perkins Eastman:
Gilbane Perkins Eastman DC’s (PEDC) extensive experience working together, includes over $240 million in recent design build projects in the DC metro area. The team combines the talents, experience, and resources of Gilbane as the prime contractor and our design partner, PEDC, two national leaders in public sector design and construction, who have collectively delivered over $3 billion in facilities in the District of Columbia in the past 10 years, including Dunbar High School, Roosevelt High School and Cleveland Park Library, which is still in progress. For more information go www.gilbaneco.com and www.perkinseastman.com.

BASIS was founded in 1998 by Dr. Michael and Olga Block, world-class economists and academics, who developed a formula for success for every child by offering a rigorous, globally competitive liberal arts and science curriculum taught by passionate subject-expert teachers and supported by a culture of excellence. What began as a single campus in Tucson, Ariz. has grown to become a unique, high-achieving, network of schools with three independent, private schools in Brooklyn, N.Y., Silicon Valley and Fremont in Calif., and now in McLean, Va., with an international school in Shenzhen, China, and 16 public charter schools across the United States. Today, BASIS.ed students have propelled their schools to become the top ranked in the nation. Visit them at http://mclean.basisindependent.com, Facebook, Twitter@BASISInd or YouTube channel, BASIS.ed.