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Arabia Mountain High School Groundbreaking

Project Overview:
In April 2006, Perkins+Will was awarded the contract to design Georgia's first LEED-Silver Public High School. A groundbreaking was set for March 14, 2007 at the Arabia Mountain site just outside Atlanta in DeKalb County.The 240,000 square-foot facility will feature 42 classrooms, 10 science labs, a 600-seat auditorium and a 1,400-seat gym. The school will offer an extended environmental curriculum, using the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area as an outdoor classroom for students. Perkins+Will "signatures" will include sustainable design and Small Learning Communities. The school will be completed in Fall 2008 and open for students in January 2009. Schroder PR was asked to provide public relations support for the groundbreaking of Arabia Mountain High School.


Objective:
Generate media coverage of Perkins+Will's K-12 market sector leadership via its design for Arabia Mountain High School (AMHS), Georgia's first LEED-Silver public school.

Strategy:
Plan and execute a strategy to communicate the green benefits of Arabia Mountain High School and Perkins+Will's leadership in sustainability at the county's March 14, 2007 groundbreaking event.

Reach out to key regional media with AMHS story and broaden media interest by pitching a national trend piece about the rise in sustainable K-12 school design.

Tactics:
The AMHS project provided an optimal story platform for positioning Perkins+Will on the vanguard of K-12 sustainable school design. Schroder PR worked closely with Perkins+Will to develop messaging for media outreach centering on the attributes that differentiated the project: 1) sustainability, 2) small learning communities, and 3) community and school partnerships.

Extensive media outreach took place prior to the event to generate interest in covering the groundbreaking. Schroder PR prepared Perkins+Will spokespersons to speak with the media, facilitated media on-site and continued follow-up with media as the project developed. Messaging to tell the AMHS story was delivered via an electronic press kit, event advisory, project backgrounder, press release, a bylined op-ed piece and personalized media pitching.

Results:
Media coverage of the AMHS groundbreaking was significant and included broadcast segments on Atlanta's NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates; a feature article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and placements in InteriorDesign Online, Green Building Digest, School Planning & Management, Forbes.com, Sun-eNews, Georgia Contractor, and Yahoo finance.

Further, we realized the trend in K-12 sustainable school development would make a solid national pitch. National coverage that stemmed from this outreach included placements in American School Board Journal, Architectural Record, ArchitectureWeek, and an article that ran on the Associated Press wire and was picked up on more than 135 print, online and broadcast news outlets nationwide.

Arabia Mountain Backgrounder:
Perkins+Will Designing Georgia's First LEED-Silver Public High School

Video clips of the following news stories:

News Links :

Georgia to have its First LEED Silver High School, www.interiordesign.net, March 21, 2007
DeKalb school designed to be earth-friendly, ajc.com, March 17, 2007



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