Otsego High School

Otsego, Michigan

Otsego Public Schools wished to provide the city with a new flagship high school to restore pride and reinvigorate the community.

The 208,800-square-foot facility features an impressive entrance that opens onto a two-story, 24,700-square-foot commons area. It serves as the unifying space among three zones: academics, fine arts and athletics. The commons area is ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$135.00FEATURED IN2008 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas and combines spaces for study and reflection, dining, project areas and casual interaction.

The circulation path boasts a pedestrian bridge and large, two-story, glass curtainwall. The south-facing glass floods the space with daylight from a supervised and self-contained outdoor courtyard.

Carefully chosen interior materials create individual “store-fronts” for access to the media center, administrative offices, counseling, the school store, gymnasiums, the auditorium and cafeteria. The space fosters social interaction and impromptu learning, and its flexibility provides for a variety of large- and small-group study opportunities.

The overall design philosophy reflects the community’s pride and celebrates the heritage of the original 1920s high school. Although the new, two-story space was not a feature in the former high school, it has not added to the school’s energy use. In fact, the new facility is operating more efficiently than the former high school.