Situated on a campus setting, the new LEED platinum middle school provides a strong dialect with the elementary and high school. The building boasts unique features such as medallions, a sloped-gap roof and cast-stone bookends.
The main design goals were to provide educational and sustainable solutions to the district within a CAPACITY508COST PER SQ FT$177.62FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio budget. Two extended learning areas in each classroom wing help bring natural light into the corridors and flexible learning spaces. Unique features, such as "found space" at the end of each hall, create an extended learning area for informal and formal gatherings. Super-graphics throughout the building help with wayfinding strategies.
The school boasts a geothermal heating and cooling system, 20 solar tubes and light baffles for daylighting, and 20 acres of prairie grass for restoring habitat. In addition, 37 percent of the materials were regional, and 25 percent were made from recycled material. The cost savings compared with baseline standards include 42 percent energy savings and 40 percent reduction in water usage. Moreover, a 71.2 kW solar array generates more than 15 percent of the school’s yearly energy needs.