Ames High School
The design began by establishing the project vision during meetings and engagement sessions with all project stakeholders, including the community, interviews with departmental groups and benchmarking trips. The new high school will be located east of the existing school where the current parking lot and practice fields are located. The location offers the opportunity to redefine the high school’s presence in the community, creating a welcoming hub for activities and events.
The site design will feature pedestrian and bike friendly access paths, bike parking, and other amenities. Safety features will be incorporated in the design of the site to protect entries, maintain clear vision of the site from the building, and to provide safe egress from the building. Angling the building on the site elevates academic spaces with maximum views to the prairie and existing football stadium. The building concept also allows natural light to permeate the majority of learning and collaborative environments, and creates a level of transparency in areas where visual accessibility is desired and highlight a secure and monitored single point of entry. The commons, or social hub of the high school, connects the north and south wings of the building. The media center, on the second floor overlooking the commons, is the academic hub.
All academic spaces are arranged with teacher and student collaboration spaces in the center of a pod. General classrooms can be opened up into the central collaborative areas where interdisciplinary study can take place between multiple classes. Music and Career Technical Education (CTE) departments are also arranged in a pod-style around spaces for collaborative work and a maker space. Following the move to the new building, the existing building will be decommissioned and demolished, with practice fields constructed in its place.