Chico High School, Lincoln Center Dining Hall & Auxiliary Gym

Chico, California

Chico High had a need for an updated dining/kitchen facility and additional space for athletics. After assessing the existing cafeteria, it was deemed in the best interest of the school to replace it rather than modernize. The design team presented the option to combine the two needed functions into a single building, preserving the inner-campus core and saving the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,048COST PER SQ FT$407.00FEATURED IN2014 Architectural Portfolio more than $1 million in construction costs.


The new Lincoln Center is a 20,000-square-foot facility that includes dining/kitchen, indoor/outdoor seating and an auxiliary gym. This new facility provides flexible space for events and after-school programs and serves the nutritional, social, and athletic needs of the students. The layout embraces the quad and together they become the core of campus culture.


Social engagement enriches the educational experience and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and creation of a support network. The Lincoln Center supports the impetus for social interaction. Students have healthy food options in a “food court” setting, access to Wi-Fi and charging stations. It is now more appealing to stay on campus for lunch. Student safety has improved and truancy to afternoon classes is reduced because students are not driving or walking off campus for lunch.


The auxiliary gym acts as the event gym for volleyball and wrestling competitions as well as additional space for physical education classes. The adjacency to the dining hall provides a beneficial pre-event space.


Lincoln Center is CHPS® Verified and achieved over 90 percent of construction and demolition waste diversion. THERMOMASS® Composite tilt-up construction was used, which provides a high R-value for energy savings and durability. The dining hall has large glass roll-up doors which, when open, double the seating capacity for a seamless dining space. The four-foot ribbon of Kalwall in the gym floods the space with natural daylight, reducing the need for overhead lighting during the day.