Lakewood Middle School

Overland Park, Kansas

Security and safety were the guiding requirements of this design. The design team and district wanted a facility that could be monitored by as few staff as possible. At the same time, the district required a facility that was perceived as open to the community it served.

To achieve this requirement, the architect focused the building on one entry and exit point. The ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$119.00FEATURED IN2003 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas pod is at the front entry and has a 180-degree view of parking, the entry and interior commons. All those entering and exiting must pass by this point. Standing in the commons at the control desk, a staff member can see directly to the cafeteria, academic wing, all major corridors and the gymnasium. The academic wing also can be monitored by one teacher because the open locker area is focused on the shared learning area at the center of each pod. All stair towers are full-glass to achieve interior safety because they are visible from the exterior. All other entries to the building are key-card access only by staff.

In an effort to make this facility cost-effective, the design team chose an inexpensive precast concrete panel, used as both a skin and structural elements where appropriate. It was scored in a pattern reminiscent of traditional academic buildings with large stone bases.