The initial design challenge was to de-institutionalize the building and incorporate new educational programs. The design team accomplished this by making circulation and wayfinding easy by creating clear arrival points at pods or neighborhoods.
Educational programs were arranged into academic pods—science, language, social studies, mathematics, technical education CAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$90.85FEATURED IN1999 Architectural Portfolio applied technology. A clustering arrangement removed the classrooms from the main corridors, eliminating student hallway noise.
Each academic pod is arranged in a U-shape with a computer-equipped resource area at the center. The design offers flexibility, allowing the building to adapt to different configurations with changes in teaching theories. Color schemes also were changed to give each pod its own identity.
Student access to the two main academic wings is accomplished by passing between the centrally located and voluminous commons and IMC. Students are able to overlook either space from a second-story skywalk.
The two-story glass entry into the commons is further enhanced by the 22-foot circular skylight in the center and ceramic-tile compass rose directly below. The building includes the fieldhouse, which opens to the commons, as does the tiered, 600-capacity auditorium.
Photographer: ©Tricia Shay Photography