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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the last several years the administration at Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) began to dream about making major changes at Homestead High School (HHS). Primarily a single story building, students struggled to travel from one side to another during passing periods and there were few spaces able to facilitate informal student interactions or collaborative group work.
CSO was brought on board with local architect MKM and educational consultant Brain Spaces to begin programming and planning for the future Homestead. Extensive meetings with students, staff, parents, and community members quickly revealed immense support for changes at the high school and a desire for the building to better represent and support the students who walked its hallways. The design team collaborated to maximize the amount of new space to be constructed while leveraging portions of the existing facility to reach the desired program requirements.
The resultant design will include a new two story academic wing, large student commons, 3,000 seat completion gym, and 990 seat performing arts center. Nearly 400,000 sf will be added on to the existing high school before razing roughly 350,000 sf of existing structure. The remaining 300,000 sf will be extensively renovated ensure the ‘new’ building has the same look, feel, and function throughout.
Completing a project of this scale while keeping the existing building operational during construction will be a complex task requiring continued coordination between SACS, HHS, the design team, and the construction manager. The phased addition, renovation, and demolition is set to occur from July 2020 through December 2024. Once complete Homestead High School will finally have space to educate students for generations to come.