Situated on a prime site close to the central business district, the existing high school in Jackson, Mo., functioned as an educational campus consisting of six independent buildings. The new design focuses on the safety and security of students by using exterior open spaces to interconnect the previously isolated pods.
The CAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$145.47FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio of generous donors are engraved into bricks incorporated into the Walk of Honor pathway, which extends through the campus. The innovative design provides for easily reconfigured environments, and the attachment of new construction to old is seamless.
A central commons, nicknamed "Main Street," serves as a spine to link all portions of the complex. The updated image of the high school includes a new main entry with support functions, technologically advanced classrooms, an Internet retreat nestled within a larger multimedia center, and a cafeteria with adjoining kitchen.
Another major component is a 2,200-seat gymnasium and events center with a suspended scoreboard and modern sound system.
The main challenges faced included phasing the construction so that the education process could continue without interruption, and incorporating the six different floor elevations of the existing buildings into one accessible structure.