I hear the original school is coming down. Why can’t it be saved?

The original school building has been a significant topic since the day this project was a spark of an idea, over a decade ago. Step one was to determine whether we could keep and upgrade the 8,000 square foot building in its entirety. At a cost in excess of $8 million, that option quickly fell off of the list.  Step two was to consider downsizing and repurposing the building, preserving the tower and Central Area, an idea that was put to a lengthy and thorough analysis. The more the DAG and Design Team dug into the realities, the more challenges appeared. Downsizing removes structural walls and divorces the building from the original foundation. The logs are infested with bugs. Ramps and lifts would be installed throughout the Central Area to meet accessibility codes. Ductwork would thread the ceiling. In short, the space we were striving to preserve would be unrecognizable AND we would still have a 42-year-old building to maintain. The more we learned, the more we woke up to the fact that we had to take the final step in letting go. The original building is not viable. As soon as we opened our hearts and minds to the option of keeping the tower while designing a new building to house music/performing arts and a project room, the campus concept fell fully into place. What we came to realize is that the spirit of the school actually resides in each of us, rather than in the building itself. What we are preserving is this magnificent piece of land, our iconic tower, the Central Area (now we’ll have two: indoors and outdoors), the way we approach learning, our relationships, and our traditions.

Posted in: ABOUT DESIGN

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