Construction of 155,932 square feet at Carmel High School, including the media center, corridors and lobby, commons, gymnasium and natatorium, occurred primarily in the center of the school, but the total renovation radiated outward, resulting in improvements throughout the site.
Architect-led planning sessions with community members and teachers identified CO FIRMPaul I. CripeCAPACITY3,600COST PER SQ FT$82.00FEATURED IN1999 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation goals: expanding facilities for 3,600 students; improving educational environments facility-wide to serve current and future programming; enhancing the appearance and organization of the large school’s disjointed buildings (circa 1958, 1963, 1969, 1977 and 1993) and poorly defined entry; encouraging community use of athletic and performing-arts spaces.
The new construction was designed as infill that links existing buildings.
The principal organizing element is an airy, skylit street. It begins beside a covered arcade, creating a clearly defined entrance. The street continues uninterrupted to the athletic entrance. The lobby and commons situated at either end serve multiple purposes during community events.
Expressed structural steel members frame the street, opening walls to extensive clerestories. Natural light floods corridors, a relief from existing windowless classrooms. Wider portions of the street create community space for interaction and foster school spirit.
The renovation and relocation of industrial technology, consumer and family living, and art and science classrooms allowed elective and academic core courses to be grouped appropriately.
Academic core areas were renovated to be flexible, with faculty workspace and resource areas placed between classrooms for shared functions.
The school’s commitment to research and learning dictated the new library/media center be centrally located by the main entry, adjacent to TV and radio studios. Technology provides electronic connections throughout the campus.
The original competition gymnasium’s bowstring trusses and roof required replacement. To preserve the historic gym without interrupting a season of competitive sports required a creative solution. The new roof was built over the existing roof, supported on temporary columns placed strategically clear of basketball courts. Existing trusses were removed the following summer.
The new fieldhouse has four stations with a running track that overlaps the courts, providing a flexible facility for physical-education classes and athletic competition.
The new 50-meter by 25-yard pool is outfitted with two bulkheads, maximizing community, recreational and competitive use.
Photographer: ©Timothy Hursley