Jefferson Elementary School, Additions and Remodeling

Omaha, Nebraska

This project remodeled and expanded an existing 36,000-square-foot school to a 62,200-square-foot facility. The objectives of the project were to provide enough instruction space to accommodate 575 students, including classrooms and specialized learning areas, and to improve energy efficiency, security, safety and the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY575COST PER SQ FT$111.53FEATURED IN2009 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation environment.

A ground-loop heat-pump system was used throughout the building for heating and cooling to reduce energy costs. Clerestories in existing classrooms were maintained to introduce natural reflective light into classrooms and subsequently into adjacent corridors; thermally efficient windows replaced single-pane glass to improve energy efficiency. Regarding safety, building access is controlled with the use of card readers at all entries; site traffic was segregated; and the new kindergarten wing was constructed as a tornado shelter to accommodate the full school population.

Community use also was a key element in the design, as the building was designed to be segregated after school hours. A new multipurpose room with support spaces was provided to accommodate after-school community activities.