Unity Christian High School

Hudsonville, Michigan

Design team
David Wilkins, AIA, NCI (Principal-in-Charge); Ben Perdok, AIA, LEED AP (Project Architect); Ben Scholten, A.AIA (Project Designer); Nicole Smith, NCIDQ, LEED AP (Interior Designer); Tim Gerrits, LLA, LEED AP (Landscape Architect); Travis Vruggink, PE, LEED AP (Civil Engineer); Trent DeBoer, PE, CGD, LEED AP (Mechanical Engineer); Ryan ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY700COST PER SQ FT$117.00CITATIONHigh School CitationFEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio (Electrical Engineer); Pamela Brink, PE, SE (Structural Engineer)

Unity Christian High School is an independent high school that has resided on the same campus since 1953. In 1999 the Board of Education voted to buy an 80-acre parcel and begin a master planning process to relocate the campus. The existing structure was inadequate for the programs and educational expectations with regard to classroom space, integration of technology, cafeteria services, flexible use space and community gathering space.
The overarching basis for the new design was to build upon the strong sense of school community. The organizational model for the floor plan was centered on the two-story commons, which runs north to south through the building. This brightly colored, naturally lighted space functions as the main entry, cafeteria, main circulation path and connection to two academic wings and student-focused gathering area. This space also parallels the multipurpose gymnasium and worship chapel, and serves as a pre- and post-function space for athletics and community gatherings.
The exterior shell is composed of a sequence of insulated and textured precast concrete panels. Interior surfaces are a contrast of concrete walls and burnished floors, with strong colors and bands of wood that add texture and warmth.