Byron Center High School

Byron Center, Michigan

Located in Byron Center, Mich., this high school provides students with an environment designed to focus on educational goals. The school is a 2000 National Blue Ribbon Exemplary School Award winner, a program in which every facet of the school environment must demonstrate excellence.

More than 70 miles of video, audio, data and voice cabling permit room-to room ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$132.89FEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio and distance learning. A strong goal of this facility was to change the way teachers teach. All classrooms have computerized resource centers instead of teachers’ desks. Classrooms include three cameras and up to four monitors, which permit teachers to employ touchscreen technology from multimedia workstations. Extended-capacity rooms with advanced computer technology are used for community and student instruction.

The school includes a gymnasium, locker room, auditorium, TV and radio-production room, computer and media room, which link all of Byron Center’s schools and classrooms.

The Van Singel Fine Arts Center is used for school and community theater, and features complete hookups for touring road-show groups. The 6,000-square-foot facility has 784 fixed seats, of which 16 are barrier-free, a modified-fly stage, a 55-line complete rigging system, theatrical sound and lighting systems, rigging catwalks and an orchestra pit. The space also includes dressing rooms, a scene shop, piano storage, offices, a ticket booth, restrooms and a green room. A graphic arts/multimedia lab also is available for students.

Athletic facilities include a three-court primary gymnasium, practice gym, locker rooms and weightrooms, outdoor play fields and concessions area. The natatorium includes an eight-lane competition pool with diving well, separate locker rooms, showers, coaches office, spectator seating for 350, ceramic tile floors and special finishes for mechanical and structural items. Special equipment under the pool allows underwater ballet and other events to be recorded.

Located along two county drain systems, and affected by flood plains and difficult soil conditions, the site needed to comply with the Michigan Department of Environment Quality guidelines for wetland and floodplain impact concerns. The sports fields, tennis courts and parking lots were engineered to maximize use of the site and provide easy access to all fields, without affecting the surrounding wetland and floodplain environments.

Photographer: ©G. Tod Roberts/Hedrich-Blessing Photography