When the time came to replace its aging high school building, Norwalk City Schools’ Board of Education knew what it wanted in a new facility: a centerpiece for the community, opportunities for curriculum innovation, and a design to reflect the character and values of this north central Ohio community.
After voters approved a bond issue, the Ernsthausen Foundation of CAPACITY900COST PER SQ FT$109.50FEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio came forward with a donation of $3.8 million for the addition of a performing-arts center within the school. The Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center serves the students, as well as the entire community, with a 1,000-seat theater and full stage, a large-group lecture hall with teleconferencing capabilities and an art gallery.
In response to the administration’s request for ease of security monitoring, the design features academic wings radiating from a central rotunda that is illuminated by skylights.
The facility also features a state-of-the-art industrial-technologies lab, instrumental and vocal labs, science labs, a full-size gymnasium and auxiliary gym, and weightroom. Situated near the building’s central hub, the media center includes a separate entrance for after-hours use.