Walden Middle School

Walden Middle School

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

  • Park Hill School District
  • New Construction
  • 114,500 SF
  • $34.4 million

2021 A4LE John Shaw Award Recipient

Visual connectivity and strategically designed collaborative spaces have led to an evolution of learning styles at this newly combined middle school. 

Driving up to the building, you immediately feel the sense of space and pride created by Walden Middle School. Exterior signage and artwork can be illuminated with interchangeable colors to celebrate special occasions and holidays. The space was designed and built to give students access to outside daylight, while also ensuring safety and security as well as the durability of the building. This feeling of openness and transparent connectivity has attributed to the lack of bullying, according to the principal. Lockdown features also can be activated at the push of a button, securing 75 percent of the building.

In addition, the three academic wings are flexible and include operable walls, allowing for customization and collaboration throughout. The wings are connected by the gallery-like commons, where students’ work can be showcased, as well as the media center. The green building is the first LEED V4 certified school building in the region and demonstrates how the design played a crucial role in extending the building’s life cycle while incorporating impactful and sustainable features.

Chillicothe Elementary School

CHILLICOTHE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

CHILLICOTHE, MISSOURI

  • Chillicothe R-II School District
  • New Construction
  • 60,000 SF
  • $13.9 Million

The community’s youngest learners thrive in their updated, interactive space.

Infants through first graders are excited to be in one, new building that encourages students to connect with the natural environment around them. Interior design and environmental graphics make this space come alive and encourage these little learners to imagine. It also helps these little learners to understand what a space’s purpose is without traditional wayfinding signage that they wouldn’t be able to read. The various learning environments include large instruction, small group and one-on-one.

The rural community of Chillicothe, Missouri, is committed to making big changes for their students. This new elementary school is just the first step in the District’s plan to get all their elementary school students in one new building and all their students on one campus around their high school.

Liberty High School Performing Arts Center

LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL Performing Arts Center

LIBERTY, MISSOURI

  • Liberty Public Schools
  • Addition
  • 43,000 SF
  • $16.5 million

The new performing arts space boasts unique elements contributing to the full performance experience, down to the technical and behind-the-scenes details.

As a district who places a strong emphasis on the importance of arts in education, Liberty Public Schools sought to improve its fine arts facilities at Liberty High School as part of the 2018 district bond passage. The addition of the new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center brings many opportunities for students, featuring an expansive two-tiered auditorium, flexible band, orchestra and choir rooms, a scene shop, drama classroom, individual rehearsal spaces and an event entrance for performance attendees. All of the spaces were designed to be multi-use to maximize the building’s utilization.

Inspired by spaces such as the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the nearly 800-seat addition is comparable to that of a performance space found on a college campus. Securely connected to the high school, students now have a professional setting to hone their talents. Acoustically accurate architectural details support students in achieving their full creative potential.

Van Horn High School

VAN HORN HIGH SCHOOL

INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI

  • Independence School District
  • Addition + Remodel
  • 42,000 SF
  • $17 million

The addition posed the opportunity to create an enhanced sense of place, identity and pride for Van Horn’s students, staff and community.

Walking into the new addition, you’re welcomed by the Hall of Champions, showcasing the rich Van Horn history with team trophies, medals and plaques. A new competition gym elevates the Falcon fan and athlete experience, while also providing enhanced locker room facilities for athletes. New indoor/outdoor concessions and restrooms for indoor sporting events and soccer games are arranged with the hope to provide future infrastructure to bring varsity football games back to campus. A large mezzanine accommodates standing room spectators and dually functions as a practice space for wrestlers, cheerleaders and more.

Beyond athletics, the new addition includes a culinary arts kitchen, a metals workshop and full-service athletic training room, with accompanying classrooms to support those hands-on learning labs. These 21st century equipped spaces demonstrate the District’s commitment to the Independence Careers Academies.

Formerly disconnected from the building itself, the woodshop was brought back into the building by demolishing an existing structure and renovating a former storage space. In addition to the woodshop, six science labs were remodeled.

Park Hill District Support Services Center

Support Services Center

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

  • Park Hill School District
  • New Construction
  • Service Center: 70,000 SF
  • Transportation Center: 21,400 SF
  • $23.8 million

Efficiency and sustainability were at the core of designing the new district operations and maintenance campus.

The Park Hill School District needed a new facility to house its operations and maintenance departments. Previously located in an underground cave with no windows or direct sunlight, administration aimed to provide a more desirable work environment for staff who keep district operations running smoothly on a daily basis. It also provided space for a much-needed expansion to support a steadily growing district.

Targeted to achieve LEED certification, efficiency and sustainability were at the heart of designing this new campus.  Sunlight pours in through skylights, and discarded oil from the mechanical shop can be used to heat areas of the building. The Support Services Center building is home to maintenance, warehouse, nutrition services, technology, and various office spaces providing a number of amenities under one roof and allowing for collaboration and efficiencies not possible in the former underground location. Only a few hundred feet away, yet secured separately, lies the fully equipped Transportation Center. The Transportation Center services the entire district’s bus fleet and includes a maintenance shop, wash station and space to accommodate driver training and rest areas.

The new campus boasts an all-in-one efficiency approach, allowing Park Hill staff to focus on running the district’s many facilities and operations.

Summit Trail Middle School

Summit Trail Middle School

OLATHE, KANSAS

  • Olathe Public Schools
  • New Construction
  • 140,000 SF
  • $31 million

Learning has no bounds at the new Summit Trail Middle School.

In order to accommodate their growing student population, Olathe Public School’s needed a 10th middle school. Adapted from their most recently completed middle school, Summit Trail provides a familiar and functional space while pushing the boundaries of customized learning.

Open corridors blur the line of circulation and usable space. Located in each learning pod are “genius bars” with fully integrated technology for small group collaboration. Glazing provides transparency from classrooms to common spaces, encouraging breakout participation. Moveable furniture elevates the learning environment by providing students and teachers the flexibility to customize their space at any given moment.

Blue Springs High School

BLUE SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL

BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI

  • Blue Springs School District
  • Addition
  • 74,000 SF
  • $30.2 million

A strategic blend of acoustical features, architectural elements and environmental graphics emulates school pride throughout every detail of the new addition at Blue Springs High School.

Blue Springs High School wanted to enclose its existing outdoor courtyard to ensure security and update existing facilities, including a state-of-the-art band room, stadium upgrades, a new media center and third auxiliary gym. To provide a holistic campus experience for students and visitors, complementing colors, textures and materials were selected to align with the existing buildings while integrating new details for a fresh face.

One of the prioritized goals was to design a cutting-edge facility housing the school’s nationally renowned band program. The two-story space boasts various acoustical features equally as aesthetic as they are functional, reinforcing Blue Springs Wildcat pride. The band room’s exterior glass includes a printed soundwave of the school fight song, while the bricks frame the main windows in a strategic pattern mimicking the keys of a piano.

Serving as a notable landmark for students to navigate their way through the high school campus, the media center features a “Collab Lab” crafted of wooden slats and situated above the rest of the common area, similar to a treehouse. A number of breakout spaces for both individual and group study accommodate students whether they choose to read, study or socialize between classes. Environmental graphics tie the spaces together for a Wildcat experience at the heart of campus that will serve students for years to come.