When the community supported WWS in their endeavor to address growing facility needs throughout the district with approval of a referendum, the largest allocation was put toward expanding the existing high school. Administrators saw this as an opportunity to not only address the needs of growing programs and an aging building, but to transform its education model and align the built environment with their pedagogical vision.
CSO studied existing facility use and programming information to quantify space utilization and projected student and program growth. Using CSO’s data, administrators decided to make the leap to a university model of education, allowing them to increase building efficiency and maximize the use of their budget to benefit as many parts of the building and programs as possible. In addition to this shift in space usage, WHS sought to accommodate growing demand for career ready programs, provide flexible areas for student use, and create spaces where students would want to spend time. All new and renovated spaces were designed to easily adapt to future program needs by minimizing built-in fixtures and maximizing use of mobile and flexible furniture. CSO worked closely with WHS to establish an aesthetic that mirrored the new educational direction with a high-tech, industrial feel while maintaining subtle touches that are distinctly Westfield.
The collaborative process between WHS and CSO and in-depth programming was critical to the success of this project. This approach allowed WHS to accomplish so much more than a traditional approach to projected growth would have allowed. The resultant custom tailored building will better support today’s students and staff in their endeavors and allow WHS to adapt to an unknown future much more readily and rapidly.
CSO worked closely with Washington Township Schools’ administrators, building-level principals and faculty, and the Design Team to develop a program for a prototypical two story, K-5 elementary school with six 5-classroom learning neighborhoods, an administrative area, shared activity area, gymnasium, dining commons, discovery center, kitchen, and building support spaces.
Each learning neighborhood has a shared activity commons that is large enough for the entire neighborhood to gather and is easily accessible from each classroom. The overall layout of the learning neighborhoods creates two outdoor learning labs and an interior learning lab courtyard that are easily accessed from all learning neighborhoods and discovery center. The interior courtyard will serve as both educational outdoor space and a source of natural light for both levels.
Adjacent to the learning neighborhoods are the instructional spaces for art, world language, the project/idea lab, and a self-contained learning studio which provides the possibility of a flex classroom should a grade level size fluctuate and need an additional classroom. Music is the only enrichment activity not directly adjacent to the neighborhoods. The music lab is located adjacent to the dining commons where there is a raised platform for performances. This also provides a good separation for the higher noise levels in the music lab from the rest of the instructional spaces.
A centrally located Discovery Center has a large two-story open area for book stacks as well as a Media Production Lab.
Willow Lake Elementary School was built on the site of an existing elementary school that was completely demolished to accommodate the new school, parking, and site improvements while preserving the existing baseball diamonds and soccer field.
Following a series of community engagement sessions in 2016, the Brownsburg Board of School Trustees decided that in order to address enrollment growth in grades 9-12 and failing infrastructure at Brownsburg High School, it was necessary to expand and renovate the school.
New academic, administrative, athletic, foodservice, and building support spaces will increase the capacity of the high school to 3,000 students and allow for future growth of an additional 1,000 students. Major demolition of a significant portion of the existing building provided the opportunity to add 23% more classroom space, expand auditorium seating to accommodate approximately 995 people, and improve overall corridor circulation. The demolished area was rebuilt taking a portion of the building from a single story to two stories housing classrooms and taller spaces such as the cafeteria and Large Group Instruction rooms.
An existing auditorium was transformed into a true performing arts theater. The new theater design involved expanding the auditorium with new sloped and stadium seating, a new orchestra pit, front of stage area, overhead catwalks, and new lighting and sound systems.
The school has been operational throughout the entire construction process, which has occurred in phases to lessen the impact on students.
Programming efforts involving HSE administrators, building-level principals and faculty, and the Design Team resulted in the development of a two-story, K-4 elementary school with five learning neighborhoods, an administrative area, shared activity area, gymnasium, dining commons, discovery center, kitchen, and building support spaces.
Each learning neighborhood has six studios (classrooms), and a shared activity commons that is large enough for the entire neighborhood to gather and is easily accessible from each studio. Each neighborhood also has a small lab/kitchenette, three small group rooms, and two sets of student restrooms. Each studio has adequate space for multiple learning centers.
Adjacent to the learning neighborhoods are the instructional spaces for art and music, the language lab/resource studio, and the self-contained learning studio. The close proximity between the neighborhoods and the enrichment areas provides the possibility of a flex classroom should a grade level size fluctuate and need an additional classroom.
The music lab is located adjacent to the dining commons where there is a raised platform for performances.
The most central point in the building is the Discovery Center and support spaces. A large, two story volume open area for book stacks accounts for the majority of the space.
The goals for Columbus North High School included: flexible and adaptable learning spaces; an easily accessible, technology-rich environment; teacher and student work areas that inspire creativity, collaboration, problem solving, and innovation; the development of Centers of Excellence; and a safe and comfortable learning environment.
The project consists of 125,000 square feet of new additions and extensive renovations. By relocating the building entry to the opposite side and strategically placing building additions, the existing high school was transformed to fully address current needs and anticipate future needs. In order to bring the school up to current standards, five separate additions provide new space for music/performing arts, administrative areas, a new kitchen, additional classrooms, student resource and teacher resource areas, and for C4, a career and technical training center that serves multiple counties.
Interior renovations include the reconfiguration of existing areas to better accommodate the existing use of the space or to accommodate a new use for the space. Renovations of the first floor include the relocation of the existing cafeteria and kitchen areas, the relocation of the media center, new and/or renovated restrooms, and two new science labs.
Columbus East High School was designed in 1970 as a high school whose traditional program was delivered through a large seminar, small group study delivery system. Over the years the school has moved to a more traditional high school schedule but has retained the culture of openness and flexibility.
Building improvements and expansions were designed to retain the character of the original design, both internally and externally. The building entrance was relocated to the east side of the building to increase its visual presence and to allow a direct, accessible route into the building. The entire second floor was renovated and reconfigured to eliminate undersized classrooms and small, cramped storage spaces – resulting in an open, flexible student collaboration space with ample daylighting. New technology was installed in each classroom. New flexible furniture was incorporated into the new learning spaces. A new administrative wing and ten additional classrooms were included in the project. To provide adequate collaboration and work space for the faculty, each faculty member was provided a personal work space. The faculty spaces are grouped together to allow small groups of faculty to collaborate within their own space.
The existing pool structure was completely renovated and the pool replaced. A new addition to the PE and athletic building provides space for the school’s fitness and wrestling programs. An upgraded mechanical system allows improved zoning and year-round heating and cooling.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools conducted a community study and determined that rather than building a third high school to meet the needs of their growing community, they would build advanced learning center academies at each campus to accommodate an additional 1,000 students.
CSO was selected to work with stakeholders to explore the requirements of a learning center that would meet their academic needs while taking into consideration what teaching and learning looks like at institutions of higher education and centers of innovative learning. CSO worked with educational experts to gather stakeholder input around the tenets of 21st Century School Design and developed design concepts that met the required scope and quality for the project. Design documents and detailed renderings were developed for both high schools and were critical in the passing of the May 2013 referendum. After the referendum was passed, CSO used the detailed design documents to develop the design criteria package that allowed the school corporation to issue an RFP for design-build teams. CSO stayed on the project through construction as owner’s representative.
In addition to expanding each high school’s capacity by 1,000 students, the academies also reflect the most innovative design for teaching and learning with accessible space for early college classes that provide actual college credits for high school students. Additions are 2-stories and reflect the qualities of 21st Century Design with copious daylight, transparency in learning spaces, ubiquitous technology, and flexible learning spaces that are sized for small and large group gatherings. Teachers do not “own” their classroom space but have an office space available, similar to the arrangements in higher education. A Student Learning Commons, adjacent to the student café, has technology tables and opportunities for small group collaboration. A large, open science lab serves all disciplines and art labs open to one another, creating a free flowing creative environment.
A key to the success of the project was fulfilling the educational priorities for the facility while also ensuring maximum effectiveness, efficiency, and safety. HSE’s growth prompted the district to build a new 7th & 8th grade junior high to accommodate 1,110 students.
The building was sited so that athletic fields are separated from vehicular drives, and parent drop off and pick up is separated from bus and delivery truck access. Common use areas are isolated from academic areas, to allow them to be used in the evening without enabling public access to classrooms. The academic wing has two floors to provide for separation of grade levels and all rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art presentation technology. The Energy Star Certified building makes extensive use of natural day lighting and is designed for optimum energy efficiency. The building embodies the district’s mission of becoming a world-class school system.
The replacement project for Central Middle School started with a series of workshops involving students, administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and Columbus community members. The goals for Central Middle School were to prepare for change in the future, promote collaboration through student-centered teams, integrate technology, incorporate flexible spaces, encourage community use and partnerships, and create a secure yet accessible environment.
CSO worked in collaboration with Perkins + Will to plan a flexible facility that would accommodate future growth and curriculum changes. The school is zoned into two components: an academic zone and a public zone. In the academic zone, spaces are grouped together to support the middle school team model and create a smaller scale environment for students, while remaining flexible for future teaching needs. Twenty four classrooms are grouped into teams consisting of three classrooms, a laboratory, and a shared space. Public spaces are separated from academic spaces by the building’s main entry. A multi-story commons acts as a cafeteria and multi-functional hub for students.
The use of historic signage and façade elements allow this new school to blend in with historic downtown Columbus. Significant green spaces create an educational park for the town while maintaining a neighborhood identity.
The addition is sited on the south side of the existing building. It features an entry lobby with accompanying public restrooms and offices for the athletic department. The focus of the addition is the natatorium space which houses a 50 meter x 25 yard swimming pool with two movable bulkheads. An integrated diving well sports one meter and three meter diving boards. Ample deck space surrounds the pool to allow for dry land training, team seating, timing offices, and spectator seating for 500. Also included in the project are locker rooms, pool offices, equipment rooms, and a wet classroom.
Clark-Pleasant Middle School is part of a two-phase building project for students in grades 5 through 8. The first phase accommodates 1,600 middle school students in grades 7 and 8, while also providing the core support spaces for a future 5th and 6th grade intermediate school addition in this rapidly growing school district.
The project’s design features a student friendly “Main Street” corridor running the length of the building, and providing easy access to the three 2-story classroom wings, the media center, physical education spaces, cafeteria, and a large group instruction room. The three attached classrooms wings serve to break the building into three smaller schools within a school, with each wing having its own bold accent color introduced into wall paints, carpet, terrazzo flooring, and ceramic wall tile, to assist with way-finding. Designers focused on bringing in an abundant amount of natural light into as many spaces as possible. Wall treatments were kept simple and light in color to brighten spaces. The focus then shifted to floor patterning where designers saw an economical opportunity to make a big and bold impact by introducing the accent colors into the design.
The school is divided into two distinct wings. The primary wing houses 6 kindergarten rooms and 10 first and second grade classrooms while the secondary wing houses 13 third through fifth grade classrooms. Within each wing, classrooms are arranged to allow for grade separation with each grade occupying an individual corridor. This reduces the number of students in each corridor, improving circulation, congestion, and noise while providing maximum flexibility for future additions and changes.
The media center, art lab, cafeteria, and computer lab are located in the center of the building, making them easily accessible from each of the classroom wings. A stage opens to the cafeteria, LGI, and gymnasium allowing various sized audiences to be accommodated. The administration area is located at the front of the building, adjacent to the shared spaces for maximum accessibility.
The building uses a state-of-the-art geothermal system with daylight harvesting to reduce operating costs. All classrooms have controlled daylight, wireless technology, interactive presentation technology, and sound enhancement systems. The total project cost was delivered through a design-build delivery method over the course of 17 months.