Omaha Public Schools, Saddlebrook Joint-Use Facility

Omaha, Nebraska

  • FIRM

    BCDM Architects


    Omaha Public Schools/Omaha Parks and Rec/Omaha Public Library

  • AREA

    111,056 sq.ft.





Saddlebrook is a joint-use facility focused on a theme of sustainability and lifelong learning through academic, literary and recreational opportunities. Sharing this single footprint is a pre-K to 4 elementary school, city community center and public library.

Procession from the shared commons rotunda into the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMAlvine & Associates; Jeffrey L. Bruce; United EngineeringCOST PER SQ FT$145.89CITATIONCrow Island School CitationFEATURED IN2010 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers light-filled library, highlighted with exposed structural timbers, reveals the adult/young-adult area, reading nooks, a central information desk, the children’s portion of the library and computer labs.

The public library/school library threshold is animated by tree-like elements with wood and eco-resin panels as trunks that emulate pop-up books, and revolving early-reader bookshelves accessible from either side. A rotating "magic" bookshelf between the trees, framed by an uplighted canopy, is closed and secure during school hours.

Custom desk graphics depict literary scenes related to wall quotes, inviting student exploration. An LCD display monitors the green roof’s data, yielding science curriculum opportunities. The school adopted the public library’s card catalog system, issuing library cards to all students and encouraging their return during non-school hours—providing a foundation for lifelong learning.

A geothermal-well system, outdoor rain gardens, green roof and sustainable materials support the emphasis on sustainability.

"A well-executed shared-use facility that incorporates a strong theme with excellent detailing. The facility has a variety of spaces that incorporate innovation and security. Sustainable features are used effectively as teaching tools.”--2010 jury