College Community School District Agriculture Building

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Client
    College Community School District
  • SQ. FT.
  • Market
  • Year
    Estimated 2021

The need to prepare all learners for the future has led to increased investment in Career and Technical Education (CTE). CTE is the practice of teaching specific career skills to high school students and is commonly split into 16 career clusters. College Community School District (CCSD) elected to develop one cluster for Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR) on their newly acquired 155-acre farm site on the south side of Cedar Rapids. To support AFNR education and programs, the proposed 6,000 square foot building contains three main elements: a science classroom, a storm shelter, and a greenhouse.

Iowa, known for corn and soybean production, is also home to many large-scale, commercial food and fuel processing giants like Quaker Oats, Heinz Kraft, Cargill, ADM, General Mills, & Ingredion. Many graduates from CCSD will eventually work at these factories.

After an initial masterplan study was conducted for the site, the southwest corner was selected as the new home for the CTE AFNR campus. This area contains the quintessential family farm and a cluster of barns, bins, sheds, and coops that will remain. With this vernacular in mind, the design seeks to respond to the remaining structures on site while also relating to the future working environments of the students, all while meeting a tight public-school budget target. This is accomplished via use of forms and materials that are common to both, utilizing a no-nonsense pre-engineered metal shed and a pre-engineered greenhouse with minimal adaptation. To this, straightforward organization of spaces and visual identity elements are added to ensure legibility of arrival, circulation, use, and identity.

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