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Columbia Business Monthly

LS3P Design Wins Citation of Excellence

Oct 10, 2017 02:07PM ● By Emily Stevenson

LS3P’s design for the new Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2), a multigenerational learning center in Columbia, won a Citation of Excellence from Learning By Design. Constructed as a design/build partnership between LS3P and MB Kahn Construction Co., R2i2 is a community center where students, parents, teachers, academic support personnel, community members, and businesses can engage in collaborative educational activities. The project will be featured in Learning By Design’s Fall 2017 issue.

“To be involved with the design of this unique facility has been a real privilege for our LS3P design team,” said Mary Beth Sims Branham, LS3P Principal and Columbia Office Leader.  “The District’s vision for an inspiring community center has truly been realized.” The facility, which opened in the fall of 2016, weaves together community resources such as a public library, Richland Two’s District Offices, and a student learning lab. The unique two-story learning lab accommodates a variety of programs targeting juniors and seniors from Richland Two’s five high schools, and offers opportunities for college-level and dual-credit courses as well as certifications in areas such as  Apple App Development, Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing, Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Managerial Accounting and Finance, Next Energy and Fuel Cell Engineering, and Entrepreneurship through Mobile and Non-Traditional Food and Service.

The building’s façade reflects the state-of-the art technology and programs inside, using a combination of vertical metal panel veneers and pre-cast construction to create an high-tech industrial aesthetic. The interior is light-filled and expansive, and the layout is organized around a 36’ high “dividing wall” punctuated by openings which frame views into learning spaces. 

R2i2 was also recently awarded Two Globes by the Green Building Institute for environmental sustainability. Sustainable design strategies include high performance HVAC systems, water-conserving fixtures, recycled and local materials where possible, natural lighting and views, LED light sources, and low-e glass. The facility also makes sustainability visible to students with a “Next-energy Lab” classroom which demonstrates renewable energy technologies such as fuel cells, and which is powered by its own photovoltaic array. 

About Richland School District Two:

Richland School District Two is the largest school district in the Midlands area of South Carolina and one of the fastest-growing in the state. We serve more than 27,000 pre-K through 12th grade students in 40 schools and centers: 19 elementary schools, seven middle schools, five high schools, four magnet centers, one child development center and one alternative school. A district of choice, where every school is a great choice, Richland Two offers 37 magnet programs catering to the individual interests and needs of our learners. The district also has an adult, continuing and technology education center and a charter high school. Our 20th elementary school Jackson Creek Elementary is scheduled to open in August 2017.

About LS3P:

Founded in 1963, LS3P was named Southeast Design Firm of the Year for 2014 by Engineering News Record (ENR).  A design firm with regional roots and national reach, LS3P operates from its eight offices in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Savannah, providing architecture, interiors, and planning services.  LS3P is deeply committed to the communities in which it serves, and has been honored with over 540 design awards in diverse practice areas.  For more information on LS3P, visit