Anna High School
This new high school was a response to 69% enrollment growth over a five year period. And with continued growth projections, the district needed a master plan, space for students of all ages, and room to grow.
Working with a citizens committee, architects helped create a multi-year master plan and phased building program that would meet the demands of a surging population, replace and update all campuses, and navigate the taxpayers’ desire for financial efficiency and academic achievement.
Architects integrated the school’s design into the contoured site. At the heart of the school is a terraced courtyard that separates noise spaces from quiet spaces and provides a secure student pass-through. The tiered commons areas allow student connectivity and clear lines of sight for staff. Access to enclosed outdoor areas maintains student safety and varies the learning environment. The use of storefront windows also allows staff to easily monitor the courtyard from all sides without being outside.
The two-story design minimizes the building footprint and saves on foundation, heating, and cooling expenses. Major spaces receive natural light, conserving energy and optimizing the learning environment. Occupancy sensors and dual level lighting increase the building’s energy efficiency.
The school provides extended value to the District in several ways. Master planning allows for future construction without displacing students and saving future taxpayer money. The corridors and core spaces were designed to accommodate twice the initial enrollment, meeting programmed growth needs and ensuring functionality for years to come.
Flexible design allows many of the core spaces to serve multiple, innovative functions. For example, not only does the central courtyard serve as a secure outdoor passage, but it also includes a stage, lighting, and sound connections for open-air fine arts productions. The black box theater doubles as a green room for stage performances. Also, a tiered distance learning room located in the library at the front of the school operates as a speech and debate prep room, staff development space, and community education room.
Future phases include a new practice gym and auditorium, classroom additions, and football fields that will be bid separately.
Anna High School was recognized by the 2012 Exhibit of School Architecture committee for excellence in Educational Appropriateness and Value.