To alleviate crowded, out-of-date facilities and meet rigorous standards adopted by New York State, the Cornwall Central School District and the architect designed a new high school in the Hudson Valley region. The facility provides data, audio and video to each classroom. It provides student spaces for socialization and studying; athletic facilities, including tennis CAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$176.00FEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio and an indoor pool; improved site amenities; a 1,000-seat auditorium; and a media center/library, including a distance-learning center.
The surrounding topography of the region—especially long train trestle bridges that cross many valleys—influenced the design approach. Situating the school on the steepest portion of the site was an inspired decision; it created challenges and opportunities within the design parameters of the building, and allowed the most level portion of the site to be used for athletic fields.
The form of the roof over the gym, pool and auditorium mimics the shape of distant hills, and library and cafeteria spaces are designed to offer views of the landscape. Terraced courtyards also provide spaces for outdoor classroom instruction. The interior design includes warm wood tones and colorfully accented floor tiles. A “train track” rhythm was introduced in classroom circulation corridors, reinforcing the popularity and nostalgia of trains and trestles throughout the region.