NCEF Resource List: Case Studies--High School Buildings
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CASE STUDIES--HIGH SCHOOL BUILDINGS

Descriptions, photographs, and floor plans of specific high school facilities projects, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.


References to Books and Other Media

The Third Teacher
(North Shore Country Day School, Dec 16, 2011)
Architect Trung Le talks about Winnetka, Illinois North Shore Country Day's Upper School project, featuring adaptable classroom spaces, common gathering areas, and flexible furnishings.

Marysville Getchell High School Campus
(Education Design Showcase, Dec 2011)
Describes the Marysville Getchell High School Campus near Seattle, winner of the 2011 Education Design Showcase, and designed by the DLR Group.

L.B. Landry High School
(HunterDouglasContract Project Gallery, Apr 2011)
New Orlean's Landry High School was nearly destroyed after Hurricane Katrina swept through the area. After many believed the school would not reopen, Landry High School was chosen by The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Louisiana Recovery Authority and Recovery School District to receive funding and grants to rebuild the school. The architectural team was challenged with designing a sustainable new high school that retained the old school's basic layout, with modern upgrades. The ceiling and exterior wall applications, along with other sustainable features of the school, have put the facility on track to receive LEED Silver Certification. Includes 10 photographs.

References to Journal Articles

Teaching for the Future. High Tech High: Chula Vista, CA
Gerber, Christopher and Naslund, ERic
HIgh Performance Buildings; , p6-16 ; Summer 2012
High Tech High Chula Vista is organized into neighborhoods to promote team teaching as well as provide a sense of ownership and place. Novel approaches such as this help the charter school get results. One-hundred percent of the culturally diverse school’s graduates have been admitted to college. Students and faculty contribute to the school’s ongoing sustainability and sense of community by participating in carpooling, on-site recycling, composting and vermiculture. Extensive daylighting and a hybrid ventilation system contribute to an annual energy use index of 23.8 kBtu/ft2 and an ENERGY STAR rating of 94. Factory-made modular components reduced construction time, costs and waste.

New Australian High School Represents the Future of School Design
Deni, Adriano
Educational Facility Planner; v46 n1 , p28-29 ; Jun 2012
Case study of the Kingston High School in Tasmania, Australia.

Less Standardization, More Flexibility
Kisel, James
School Planning and Management; , p57-62 ; Apr 2012
Five new state-funded facilities, including a green construction and transportation academy and a Hollywood-class arts and design academy, are transforming South Tahoe High School into a career tech haven.

Joplin High School
Gonchar, Joann
Architectural Record; Mar 2012
After a tornado dessimated Joplin, Missouri, national architecture and engineering firm DLR Group and Joplin-based architect Corner Greer & Associates directed the transformation of a 96,000-square-foot space from big-box retail to interim campus. Many of the strategies tested in the interim campus, including flexible classrooms, will be repeated in a permanent high school that DLR and Corner Greer are now designing.

Designing the School Around the Student
McCrea, Bridget
THEJournal; Feb 22, 2012
Case study of a Minnesota high school's planning team that started from scratch and created a 21st century facility that turns the traditional classroom model inside out. Instead of waiting for students to come to class, teachers move about the school equipped with their laptops and other teaching tools.

Creating an Ultra-Flexible Learning Space
McCrea, Bridget
THEJournal; Feb 08, 2012
Designers of the Minnesota School of Environmental Studies (SES) were years ahead of the curve when it came to creating collaborative classrooms that would one day accommodate learning technologies that in 1995 had yet to be conceived--let alone developed and marketed to the educational sector. Cumulatively the various features that went into SES' design have withstood both the test of time and the onslaught of technology in the high school classroom.

The Classroom Evolved: Creating an Active Learning Environment
McCrea, Bridget
THE Journal; Jan 25, 2012
Describes Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, Florida that's borrowed ideas from two major universities to create classrooms that support interactive, hands-on learning. The design for all five of Bishop Moore's active learning classrooms is based on TEAL (Technology-Enhanced Active Learning), a mix of pedagogy, technology, and classroom design

Building Types Study: K-12 Schools
Architectural Record; Jan 2012
In-depth analyses of fifteen K-12 school buildings, with photos, drawings, specifications, descriptions and design solutions. Includes Evelyn Grace Academy, Zaha Hadid Architects London, United Kingdom; Gloria Marshall Elementary School, SHW Group, Spring, Texas; Leutschenbach School, Christian Kerez, Zurich, German; Machias Elementary School NAC Architecture, Snohomish, Washington; Marysville Getchell High School Campus, DLR Group,Marysville, Washington; Nathan Hale High School, Mahlum, Seattle, Washington; Pritzker Science Center, William Rawn Associates, Architects, Milton, Massachusetts; Samuel Brighouse Elementary School, Perkins+Will, British Columbia, Richmond, Canada; South Shore International College Prep High School, John Ronan Architects, Chicago, Illinois; Stoddert Elementary School & Community Center, EE&K a Perkins Eastman company, Washington D.C.; Summit Elementary School, Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, Casper, Wyoming; W. F. Kaynor Technical High School, The S/L/A/M Collaborative, Waterbury, Connecticut; Cedar Ridge High School, Perkins+Will, Round Rock, Texas; Charles W. Morey Elementary School, Flansburgh Architects, Lowell, Massachusetts; Gary Comer College Prep, John Ronan Architects, Chicago, Illinois.

Mining Modernism for Students and the Community South Shore International College Prep High School
Stephens, Suzanne
Architectural Record; Jan 2012
Case study of South Shore International College Prep High School in Chicago, a LEED project designed by John Ronan Architects. High school has an early-Modernist vocabulary of taut planes and clean lines which exploit space, light, and transparency.

Career-Tech Time Machine Adobe PDF
Monberg, Greg and Bannourah, Riyad
Educational Facility Planner; v45 n4 , p27-29 ; Dec 2011
In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, the skills needed to have a successful career were very different than they are today. This case study of the Hammond Multimedia Broadcast Academy shows how one Rust Belt community has revamped its approach to career and technical education and is preparing students for jobs in the new economy.

A Brave New Campus--Marysville Getchell High School Campus 2011 MacConnell Award Winner. Adobe PDF
Yurko, Amy and Mason, Craig
Educational Facility Planner; v45 n4 , p5-8 ; Dec 2011
Extensive case study of award winning high school outside Seattle, Washington that redefines high school education. Discusses communities of learners, taking chances, starting with the learner, being brave, scenario planning, environments for teaching and learning, and a shell-and-core approach.

Building Blueprints: Historic Preservation.
Pender, Donald
School Planning and Management; v50 n8 , p44,45 ; Aug 2011
Profiles the replacement of Robins Hall at California's Newport Mesa Unified School District. The beloved 1930's landmark was deemed seismically unredeemable, so a new building that emulated the old was built. Architectural detailing from the original building we either preserved and reused, or replicated. Five strategies for approaching this type of project are discussed.

Zero Hour.
Cohen, Andrew
Athletic Business; v35 n7 , p28-30,32-34 ; Jul 2011
Profiles the field house of Vermont's Putney School, a net-zero facility that features careful siting, double insulation, daylighting, photovoltaic energy, and the capture of cool night air during the Summer.

Starchitecture High.
Hawthorne, Christopher
Metropolis; , p60-73,100 ; Jul 2011
Offers a post-occupancy evaluation of Central Los Angeles High School No. 9. The history behind the creation of this signature architectural work within a collection of prominent recent Los Angeles cultural institutions is reviewed, as are public reactions to the high cost of construction and student reactions to the sometimes impractical and stark design.

Total-Precast System Creates LEED-Certified School Adobe PDF
Shutt, Craig A.
Ascent Magazine; , p44-48 ; Jul 2011
Precast concrete insulated sandwich wall panels and double tees create new facility adjacent to existing one, boosting energy efficiency, lowering maintenance costs, and improving air quality. Case study of Riverdale High School in Greer, South Carolina.

Fast-Track to Major Sustainability: Central Region High School No. 13 Adobe PDF
CASH Register; v32 n6 , p10,11 ; Jun 2011
Gives history of challenges faced by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) moving quickly to create a school in a proposed mixed-use center along a historic railway line.

Hawaii Preparatory Energy Lab.
Design Cost Data; v55 n3 , p30,31 ; May 2011
Profiles this net-zero energy use high school science lab. Building statistics, a list of the project participants, cost details, a floor plan, and photographs are included.

Pittsburg High School Reconstruction. Adobe PDF
CASH Register; v32 n5 , p12,13 ; May 2011
Profiles this California school that consolidated three facilities into one while the school remained open.

"Hot Potato" Project: Mission Vista High School. Adobe PDF
CASH Register; v32 n3 , p10,11,13 ; Mar 2011
Profiles this California school that was built after ten years of challenges, including finding and acquiring a site, neighborhood litigation, school district boundary concerns, traffic concerns, and funding shortfalls,

Cedar Ridge High School.
Architectural Record; Jan 2011
Profiles this Texas high school divided into academies for visual and performing arts; science, technology, engineering, and math; international business; and the freshman program.

El Cerrito High School. Adobe PDF
CASH Register; v32 n1 , p10,11 ; Jan 2011
Profiles this California school that accessed community input for programming and design, preserves significant views for itself and residential neighbors, supports team teaching, and hosts a photovoltaic system.

John A. Dubiski Career High School.
Architectural Record; v199 n1 ; Jan 2011
Profiles this Texas technology and career training high school, with individual programs housed in wings that surround an atrium. Each individual wing is designed to resemble a business, and the walls designed to adapt to future developments in the curriculum.

New York Harbor School.
Architectural Record; v199 n1 ; Jan 2011
Profiles this former Governor's Island barracks conversion into a high school emphasizing agriculture and marine science.

Robert H. Williams Classroom and Anadarko Industrial Technology Building.
Design Cost Data; v44 n1 , p15,16 ; Jan-Feb 2011
Profiles this technical education building at Utah State University, Vernal. The building combines academic and applied education, and physically connect the campus to the adjacent high school. Building statistics, a list of the project participants, cost details, a floor plan, and photographs are included.

High School Renovation Project Takes Green Approach.
Alvarez, Katherine
School Construction News; v17 n1 , p21 ; Jan-Feb 2011
Describes a variety of sustainability features of additions to San Diego's Chula Vista High School. The LEED Gold facility uses 30 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than a traditional facility, and is an example of the type of improvements anticipated in schools across the district.

Gary Comer College Prep.
Gonchar, Joann
Architectural Record; v199 n1 , p134-137 ; Jan 2011
Profiles this charter school on Chicago's south side, with classrooms featuring two glazed walls each, one facing the outdoors and one facing the interior corridor.

L.B. Landry High School.
Lentz, Linda
Architectural Record; v199 n1 , p140-143 ; Jan 2011
Profiles this new school that replaces one destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The LEED-silver facility features extensive daylighting, views toward downtown New Orleans, and accommodations for a variety of community services.

School without Walls.
Lentz, Linda
Architectural Record; v199 n1 , p138,139 ; Jan 2011
Profiles this 1882 building and its modern addition that shares its facilities with the George Washington University campus on which it sits, as well as utilizing GWU's library, food service, and athletic facilities.


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Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

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