In the last 20 years alone, Lakota schools have grown by more than 10,000 students and transformed from a rural to a suburban district. To reflect this change, the new Lakota Plains Junior School was designed to keep seventh- and eighth-grade students together, to provide a facility to house the influx of additional students, and to promote a superior CAPACITY860COST PER SQ FT$90.08FEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio environment.
The word “Lakota” is an Indian name meaning “coming together, unity or togetherness,” and the district wanted this reflected in the design. To make the students feel at home, a dramatic main corridor was designed to be the heart of the building. The wood-beamed ceiling with exposed trusses and iron fixtures gives warmth to the space. To add dimension to the corridor, the media center overlooks the first floor from a large bay window. Alcoves with detailed tile work also line the hall.
Two classroom wings feature large educational spaces as well as science, computer and food-service classrooms. Students can study and socialize in an outdoor courtyard in the center of the classroom area.