Rebuilding Northwestern High School presented a unique opportunity to not only design the building, but also completely rewrite the educational program.
“We are converting the traditional high school program of the old school into an academy setup,” says Kevin Maxwell, former principal. “In the new school there are three academic schools within the school, as well as COST PER SQ FT$103.94CITATIONBronze CitationFEATURED IN2001 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas all-inclusive school.”
The three academies are Fine/Creative/Performing Arts, Intensive/Specialized Study and Technical/Career Education. The fourth all-inclusive school and core facility houses the media center, dining and physical-education spaces, as well as a cluster of classrooms for crossover courses available to students.
Designers created a school that resembles a hand (no thumb), each finger serving as one of the four academies. The palm and ring finger together are the school’s fourth academy and core facility.
Instead of grouping 15 math teachers together, Maxwell explains, five are assigned to each academy. “These kids will have much better relationships with their teachers in this arrangement.”
Each classroom is equipped with a minimum of five student computer stations and one teacher station.
"Interesting use of forms and materials. Good daylighting. The design is centered on students."--2001 jury