Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, a career academy, engages and motivates students by integrating rigorous academic and career studies. It’s a school of choice to which students from the district’s three other comprehensive schools may apply, and it serves 1,500 students in grades 10 to 12. The district wanted to respect the character of the adjacent Old Town Spring area, CAPACITY1,500COST PER SQ FT$113.77FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio projecting a professional, business-oriented image at the same time.
Academically and spatially, the school is organized about three towers (the Professional Tower, the Technology Tower and the Medical Tower), each for about 500 students with integrated core academic and career spaces. The three towers are linked by an interior street that also connects the administration offices, library, large-group instruction space, cafeteria and shops run by the students as part of their instruction.
Two of the three towers are organized about highly flexible, two-story open spaces with modular furnishings on raised floors housing career programs. It is anticipated that these programs will change frequently to keep up with businesses in the world beyond the campus. The central spaces and all classrooms have extensive areas of glass so that everyone in the school can see the interesting work underway. The third tower incorporates much of the existing building on the site, including converting an old gymnasium into an auto-technology shop.