Building programs are most rewarding when administrators are knowledgeable, involved in the process, and present opportunities to solve design issues. Allen County, a moderately sized rural system, exemplifies those characteristics.
The new Intermediate Center culminates the school board’s long-range plan to consolidate facilities on one campus. The education ASSOCIATED FIRMRangaswamy & Associates; J.E. Black; Waldron Batey & WadeCAPACITY750COST PER SQ FT$120.00FEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio for this building serving 750 fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders contains four concepts: separation by grade groups and into families; maximum use of technology; maximum use of natural light as learning enhancement; and clearly defined internal and external circulation to minimize travel.
The architectural response is a facility that is at once a group of small components separated by light and a unified whole of spaces coordinated by broad circulation, and appropriately scaled to the age group.
Its relationship to other existing facilities and its separate arrival areas for buses and cars define the site arrangement. The bell tower strongly identifies the “front door,” and the glass-enclosed administration area enhances visual security by staff while reflecting light and activity of arriving students and visitors.
-Grades are separated and connected by circulation routes and grouped into families.
-A digital projection system with interactive hardware in each classroom ensures student participation and allows immediate teacher evaluation of presented material. A digital retrieval network allows teachers to pre-program lessons from any location. The Kentucky Department of Education cites the facility as a technology model for all new schools.
-Large windows in each classroom, shared space, skylights in the grand stair, and large glass surfaces separate and define component areas.
-Broad streets, short corridors and open stairs enhanced by natural light complement the spaces.
-The media center, cafeteria and gym are multifunctional spaces for use by students, staff training and public activities. They showcase extensive technology and are filled with natural light.