Planning for Growth
The challenge was to create a New Community Landmark for joint utilization by students and citizens in Missouri’s fastest growing school district. Additionally, the sloping site that was to be shared with an Elementary School had numerous sinkholes and was only 70% of the preferred size. The solution was a 225,000 s.f. compact multilevel facility carved into the hillside.
The flexible design was organized around a central two-story commons accentuated by a pyramidal skylight. The 3,000 seat capacity gymnasium was complimented with an elevated running track and activities mezzanine. A full performance theater with orchestra pit, fly loft, and 650 seats, flanks the commons and has a separate lobby.
The library is located along the front facade to signify its civic importance and allow for community usage. Classrooms are organized around a series of stepped courtyards. These secure outdoor environments provide gathering space for special events and provide natural light to interior spaces.
The Library was placed on the front facade for visual and functional identification to the public. This allows for separate entrances to accommodate ‘after-hours’ use by the Community. The success of the Public/Private Library resulted in a Facility Focus Article in the July 2001 issue of School Planning & Management.