To showcase the technical education occurring inside the Career Academy, a major goal of the design team was to design a building that didn’t look like a school. A curtainwall in the front of the building gives the main entry a professional atmosphere, and precast concrete panels add to the feel.
The interior offers a professional environment for learning, and the COST PER SQ FT$106.96CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN2004 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYVocational/Industrial arts Academy has many unique centers incorporated within the building: a greenhouse for the environmental-management classes is provided outdoors; a culinary-arts lab includes a restaurant for students to experience the food industry; and a AAA Travel office is incorporated into the building as part of the travel and tourism department, giving students hands-on experience in the world of travel.
Knowing that career-technical programs are prone to change, the design team sought to create a flexible environment. The use of drywall on interior walls and accessible utilities enables the building to accommodate program changes easily and exterior precast-concrete panels also provide flexibility for expansion.
"Wonderful environment; forward-looking. Great model for tech school for 21st-century education."--2004 jury