D-B EXCEL (Dobyns-Bennet High School)

“D-B EXCEL is a unique program of choice specializing in blended-learning classes and featuring flexible class schedules for students ” – Kingsport Chamber of Commerce

The EXCEL academy achieves its vision to create a more personalized and education centric experience for both faculty and students.

D-B EXCEL benefits from a strategic partnership between Kingsport City Schools, Steelcase, and workspace interiors, inc. that leverages an Active Learning Pilot for Kingsport City Schools, thus maximizing the return on the City’s investment in this innovative “21st Century Active Learning” space. The Steelcase Pilot program allows dealers like workspace interiors, a strategic Steelcase Platinum Partner dealer, the ability to participate in impactful projects by allowing schools to “test drive” a state-of-the-art active learning center. The results being what is experienced today, the latest most innovative interactive solution made possible by research, direct applications, and post-occupancy analysis.

Located in the Kingsport Press Building, home of Kingsport City Schools’ main office and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce,  D-B EXCEL is a program of choice for Dobyns-Bennet High School students. The new facility houses 210 students in a collaborative, more instructionally focused, and a more intimate environment.

The smaller learning environment provides a more personalized, collaborative, and family atmosphere between students, as they alternate between 30-minute group sessions and individual breakout sessions. Students move around frequently and utilize the various integrated tools, technology, and learning modules throughout the day. With an open interior architecture that integrates multiple learning postures and technology, students can learn at their own pace using online course platforms, developed by the EXCEL program instructors.

location:  kingsport, tn

solutions provided:  furniture, architectural privacy walls and space division, task lighting, lockers, white boards, power distribution

completion date:  2017

design-build firm:  CainRashWest Architects (Kingsport, TN)

student/faculty photos: courtesy of D-B EXCEL

furniture photos by: workspace interiors


Whether it’s a smaller learning environment – or an entire university, Active Learning spaces (such as D-B EXCEL) rethink “the box” and move away from the traditional setting of rows of fixed tablet chairs and a lectern. These classrooms engage and inspire by putting control of the learning space in the hands of students and instructors. Some key features and benefits include:

  • Learning spaces that can easily morph from lecture mode to teamwork to group presentation, discussion and back again.
  • Every seat is the best seat, with access to content, other students and instructors who are available to everyone.
  • Technology is integrated, providing democratic access for all.

D-B EXCEL students and faculty utilizing the media:scape lounge for classroom sessions and staff meetings


INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN LAB room featuring: shortcut stool, by turnstone; campfire big table, by turnstone; soto led task lighting, by steelcase


HUMANITIES CLASSROOM featuring: node chairs (with tablet arm), by steelcase;  post and beam (architectural walls and space division), by Steelcase


HUMANITIES CLASSROOM featuring Thread (power distribution), by Steelcase


INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN LAB room featuring: alight ottomans, by turnstone, campfire paper table, by turnstone


MAIN CORRIDOR featuring post and beam (architectural walls and space division), by Steelcase


CLASSROOM featuring post and beam (architectural walls and space division), by Steelcase

steelcase truck 7.8×4.38

One of four fully-loaded Steelcase delivery trucks required for this large project.

THE MOVE-IN Process…

This unique project required special coordination and logistics, as well as additional “man-power”, due to the large volume of furniture and oversized products, as well as the points-of-entry to the space.

On the first “move-in” day (pictured left), it was “all-hands-on-deck” as the workspace interiors’ field technicians, and even the office staff, jumped in to help unload and navigate, a total of three fully-loaded Steelcase trucks (another truck to follow two weeks later). The project was successfully completed and the end-users were not only satisfied,  but “extremely pleased” with the move-in process and the WSI staff. (See testimonial below).

What our customers have to say..

“I wanted to let you personally know how impressed Kingsport City has been with your incredible staff . WSI has been a professional’s dream to work with from day one. Our facility has begun to transform into an amazing and functional space because of the intentional support they have given to even the most minute detail. The gentlemen who have installed the furniture have also been extremely professional, helpful, and pleasant during this process. They have eagerly answered any of my staff’s questions, helped move even our personal belongings, and cleaned up areas before leaving each day. The level of service your company has proved has been top-notch, and we are extremely pleased with our decision to work with Work Space Interiors. Thank you for your continued service, and we are anxiously awaiting to see what incredible surprises come with Phase II! ”  – Shanna Hensley, Principal, D-B EXCEL

In the press...

9/14//7 – Check out this article from WJHL News Channel 11 (Johnson City) about the exciting things happening at D-B Excel!