Because of enrollment growth and building infrastructure needs, the board of education decided to expand and improve the existing high school. These improvements would enhance the building appearance and provide much-needed space improvements to accommodate the high school educational programs.
The original Colonial-style building was completed in 1929 and, over COST PER SQ FT$278.65FEATURED IN2007 Architectural Portfolio years, had numerous additions of various configurations and style. The challenge to the architectural team was to place three separate additions onto the building, which had limited usable land for such improvements. The additions consisted of a 10-classroom and cafeteria addition, a new auditorium and an auxiliary gymnasium, wrestling room and support facilities.
The classroom addition created a well-defined, historically referenced main entry to the high school. This had been lacking for some time. The board wanted a front entrance that would bring the building together and create a true focal point for students and the community. Many areas of the older facade and infrastructure of the existing building needed major repair or replacement. Therefore, the architectural considerations focused on three separate criteria: creating an existing main entrance that blended the existing with the new; situating the new gymnasium adjacent to the existing athletic fields; and adding an auditorium that would be accessible to the public and the surrounding neighborhood.
Because of the relationship of the classroom and cafeteria additions, the actual main entrance was angled slightly to incorporate a new cupola, which makes a modern reference to the original 1929 cupola. This 16,620-square-foot expansion created a new look across 50 percent of the high school. The roof on the front addition was a pitched, shingled roof to conform to the 1929 building. An interior courtyard created behind the classroom and lobby wing allows natural light into the area.
The 800-seat auditorium was situated along the south side of the site, backing up and connecting to the 1929 building. The total area of the auditorium and support area is about 19,025 square feet. The placement of this addition did not impair the front elevation of the original high school and allowed direct access to the existing parking area behind the high school. The new 9,210-square-foot auxiliary gymnasium, team locker rooms, and classroom and wrestling room addition are adjacent and west of the existing gym facility. A secondary lobby was created to allow the community access to the gym facilities without traveling through the entire building.
The architect used an appealing combination of brick and architectural block to make reference to the original brick and terra-cotta detailing. Tan window frames with tinted glass featuring circular and curved muntins helped create a new aesthetic appeal for the entire front facade.
Technology upgrades and security improvements were incorporated throughout the building.