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November 12, 2011 3:30 PM CST

New Lexington County school incorporates sustainable design

Material from previous tennant used to manufacture 600,000 utility-sized bricks


River Bluff High School is currently on schedule to open during the summer of 2013.

River Bluff High School is currently on schedule to open during the summer of 2013.
Hanson Brick is proud to announce a new project with Jumper Carter Sease Architects, P.A., CJMW Architecture and Lexington County School District One to create the new River Bluff High School. The school will be located near the intersection of highway 378 and I-20 on Corley Mill Road in Lexington, S.C., and is housed on a site previously owned by Guignard Brick Works. The project's use of recycled job site materials, conceptualized by CJMW Architecture and JCS Architects, supports Lexington County School District One's vision of a sustainable 21st century school and provides a place for students to learn and grow.

"This project helps us build a school while focusing on our community and keeping the environment in mind," said Mary Beth Hill, chief communications officer for Lexington County School District One. "The use of recycled materials is cost efficient and allows us to be good stewards of our taxpayers' dollars."

The job site existed previously as an old shale pit, occupied by Guignard Brick Works. When in operation, Guignard Brick Works was the oldest continuously operating brick company in the United States. Hanson Brick, North America's largest brick manufacturer, was selected to provide the brick needed to complete the project due to their ability to manufacture new bricks from existing job site materials at a low cost, as well as for their expertise within the industry and the overall economic benefits. Additionally, Hanson's Columbia Brick facility is located approximately 12 miles from the job site, which also minimized transportation costs.

"Perhaps the most exciting aspect of using the site's own earth to create bricks for the facility is that everyone's enthusiasm for the concept spawned other resource-conserving measures such as ice storage for the cooling system and the use of natural light in lieu of reliance on electrical lighting," said Michael Kohn, principal at CJMW Architecture.

To date, Hanson has manufactured approximately 600,000 utility-sized "River Bluff Blend" bricks, a product design used exclusively for this project. While the majority of materials used consisted of shale from the project site, kaolin from nearby areas was required in regional manufacturing as well in order to meet the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials.

"This project is part of our ongoing commitment to make the best use of our resources," said Charlie Ward, senior vice president and general manager of Hanson Brick. "Our ability to reuse existing site materials is not only a benefit for our customers, but for our community as well. This was truly a team effort, and credit should be shared with JCS Architects; CJMW Architecture; Southern Management Group; The Exum Company; Mid State Masonry Contractors; and China Construction."

Construction on the River Bluff site began in June 2010, and Hanson has completed all brick production to date. Brick installation will take place once the support blocks are in place. River Bluff High School is currently on schedule to open during the summer of 2013.

About the Author

Hanson Brick is North America's largest brick manufacturer with a total capacity of more than 1.7 billion bricks. For more information visit


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