Using a selected group of educators, staff and community members, detailed educational specifications were developed for a new high school facility. This idea was presented as a bond issue to the public for approval, but was twice defeated, then approved for design and construction.
This change in direction presented a series of challenges to the designer: the ASSOCIATED FIRMFuller Design GroupCAPACITY700FEATURED IN1998 Architectural Portfolio1998 Educational InteriorsSUB CATEGORYSpecialized specifications had been developed for a new building but the designer was now faced with an existing two-story building that must double in size. The solution proved to be not only unique, but very functional.
The addition and renovation project provided the opportunity to incorporate the existing structure into the architecture of the community. The community has a strong tradition of western reserve Architecture and the 35-year-old high school did not reflect this heritage. Certain elements of the additions were allowed to break from the existing building appearance and to be re-oriented to the street grid and reflect the community character. The media center, art room, main entry and events entry are the elements selected to make this physical, as well as psychological, connection to the community. With a white portico-like facade and object-like character, the media center and the art room mirrors the community design vernacular.
With the addition of 79,806 square feet, the opportunity to reorganize the existing space resulted in an environment more conducive to learning. The rethinking of the original space dramatically altered the way education programs were provided and has affected the culture and personality of the building. Classroom space was increased by renovating the old art, kitchen, science and home economics areas into functional classroom facilities. The old media center created the ideal central location for a teacher prep area. The new auditorium, gymnasium and commons/cafeteria were purposefully located at one end to accommodate after-hours community events.
The resulting design created a functional educational space that integrates naturally with the community architecture.
Photographer: ©Emery Photography