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.
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.
The Innovation Center would continue to strengthen the commitment to a flexible and focused learning environment, emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Learning Studios. The goal would be to encourage and promote a collaborative experience in all of the learning spaces, and provide a more open, group-oriented Science area, de-emphasizing compartmentalized education and promoting group and team learning across several disciplines. Plans for the open Science area include several laboratories in the same space allowing a more efficient teaching model, while providing enhanced interaction.
An informal study area and open faculty areas promote additional interaction between the faculty and students, faculty and faculty, and student to student. The proximity and accessibility of the faculty is purposeful. However, break out rooms and small group rooms would provide for one on one meetings or private conversations. The learning spaces are intentionally transparent as well as flexible in order to adapt to the changing use of the space and the continued connection to the learning environments.
The Innovation Center would also contain the relocated dining and kitchen space in the lower level, allowing students a more flexible approach to food service and more options to the traditional lunch period. An additional Café would also allow students to utilize a “grab-n-go” concept during the day. The relocation of the campus cafeteria creates a destination for students during the course of the day, while also creating informal interaction areas in the adjacent spaces. Additionally, a new Cathedral Spirit Shop will be located near the cafeteria in a prominent location for both students and visiting parents/alumni.
Architecturally, The Innovation Center will create a new “front door” to campus. The center is an addition to Kelly Hall and will be featured on the courtyard between the existing Student Life Center (SLC) and Loretta Hall. The new addition will incorporate a three-story open atrium between the old Kelly Hall and the architecture of the new addition. Exterior materials used on the addition are blonde brick (same used on SLC), glass, metal panel and stone veneer panels. The old limestone façade of Kelly Hall will be preserved and will be the feature of the new, glass-enclosed front entrance.