Arcola Elementary School, originally constructed as a high school in 1921, was expanded with the addition of a gymnasium and classroom in 1926. Two subsequent additions, in 1955 and 1965, were unsympathetic to the original design style and aesthetic integrity.
The goal of the most recent project was to expand the deteriorated, substandard and undersized space of this COST PER SQ FT$78.75FEATURED IN2000 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation school. This expansion would increase student capacity to 380, bring the building capabilities equal to other facilities in the school system, and provide support for an ultimate capacity of 500 students.
The school is in a small, rural town of many lifelong residents and graduates of the original high school. The community’s strong sentiment and overwhelming desire to save the integrity of the original building became the “canvas” for the project.
The design response focused on how the existing building could be incorporated into the expansion, as well as cost. Renovating the facility was considered. Because it was a wood structure with a brick exterior and complicated by ADA and code issues, this was cost-prohibitive. The most cost-effective solution was to raze the interior structure, maintain the front and side facade, and construct a new facility directly behind the original front wall.
Photographer: ©Shane Pequignot/Eye Pix Photography