The original Wakonda Elementary School consisted of 36,000 square feet and 14 classrooms. This project added 36,000 square feet to accommodate a total of 37 classrooms for a maximum capacity of 630 students. The design of the new addition, as well as the conversion of the existing building, was designed as an “academy” facility for about 15 students CAPACITY630COST PER SQ FT$97.64FEATURED IN2003 Architectural Portfolio classroom.
The addition filled in an existing courtyard to improve security and increase energy efficiency. A ground-loop water source heat-pump system was incorporated to help improve energy efficiency.
A major feature in the building is the skylighted spine, which introduces natural light into all interior adjacent classrooms and terminates at the media center, adjacent to the main public corridor. Clerestories were designed at all other interior classrooms to allow natural light to flow into these spaces.
Three kindergarten classrooms have been designed as tornado shelters. Exterior windows for these rooms meet guidelines for impact resistance.