Alpha Alternative High School

Gresham, Oregon

This Alternative High School may very well be an example of the adage “great things come in small packages,” although in this case it might be “great things happen in a small package.” In a modest 15,000 square feet, the facility provides all the academic opportunities of a traditional high school; in addition, it is home to businesses that take advantage of inexpensive ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY150COST PER SQ FT$206.00FEATURED IN1999 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized in exchange for training students. The building also accommodates demonstration areas for potential job sites outside the school, evening college courses, community meeting space, and a state-funded community employment center.

Getting everything into the school required unique solutions. First, the physical size of the rooms were made adjustable through the combined use of operable partitions and a new system of moving walls developed by the architect. Second, storage cabinets, teacher stations, student project lockers, tables, computer carts and desks were all designed to be mobile.

Finally, data locations, lighting, mechanical systems and finishes all were designed to contribute to the flexibility of the building. The result is a building that not only accommodates a wide range of functions, but also can be modified to enhance the changing activities of the school.