The new Taconic Hills Central School is the culmination of an effort begun more than 30 years ago when two rural districts merged to resolve problems of crowded and deteriorated buildings. After 11 unsuccessful referendums that would have paid for the rehabilitation of existing buildings to support elementary programs and the construction of a new high school, the COST PER SQ FT$125.00CITATIONWilliam W. Caudill CitationFEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio turned to the architect in 1997. A previously unexplored alternative was developed and put before voters for consideration: the construction of a K-12 school building at a central site. The referendum was approved by a 2-1 ratio.
The new facility, one of the largest school buildings in the state, provides the students and community with a wide range of resources and amenities, as well as the opportunity to generate revenue through community uses. Features include a performing-arts center that opens to an outdoor amphitheater; an aquatic/fitness center; two technology-rich media centers; and three subdividable gymnasiums with stadium- style seating.
The building is designed as two schools and a community center within a single building. The elementary (K-6) and secondary (7-12) schools each have dedicated core facilities arranged along the first floor of their own two-story atrium. Classrooms are clustered into houses by grade level or departments. The community facilities are between the two schools, as well as directly accessible from an entry courtyard.
"I love the concept of opening the stage to both the theater inside and amphitheater outside—"2000 Architectural Portfolio jury
Photographer: ©H. Durston Saylor