The Ames CSD 24th Street Development is a 26-acre parcel which will be developed to include a new administration building, baseball and softball complex, future tennis courts, a practice cross country course, and supporting buildings, infrastructure and amenities. It was the desire of the administrative team and the school board to design a building that was sensitive to the built environment of the adjacent neighborhood. The building was placed parallel to the railroad tracks which angles it to the street and appears to open and invite one onto the site.
Keeping the building single story addresses the concern of nearby neighbors wanting a more human scale to the building. Only the center public portion which is surrounded on three sides by the single story sections, has higher sloped roofs. Choosing a material palette that reflects materials of the neighborhood maintains a design connection to the adjacent houses and buildings. Brick is used around the building to the sill height of the windows. Sills are constructed of cast stone, as are the low column surrounds. The columns support the entrance canopy and introduce wood as a building material. Large wood beams support the center reception space and offer a warm welcoming effect to those that enter. The use of horizontal lap siding and vertical board siding, complement that of the neighborhood houses. Windows, both large and small, offer natural daylight into occupied spaces. Mechanical equipment has been located inside in the mechanical mezzanine.
The athletic support buildings including concessions, restrooms, press boxes, storage, and plaza features, will be constructed from the same material palette as the administration building, thus adding a layer of cohesiveness to the built elements found on the site. Landscaping on site will be accomplished through the use of earthen berms, trees and shrubs to provide screening, shade and enhancements to the site.
The Saydel Community School District had a vision to refresh its high school weight room and practice gymnasium; centered around the ideas of activity and wellness. Funded by a bond referendum, this renovation of their existing high school wellness facilities, administrative offices, and primary high school entry is the realization of that vision.
Wellness Components | The District desired to make wellness integral with their school curriculum and culture. Existing space limitations initially posed a challenge, leading members of the board and administration to assume that a costly addition would be necessary to house an expanded weight training and new cardiovascular training areas. A space utilization analysis revealed that underutilized spaces in the existing high school administrative areas, computer lab, and practice gymnasium could be reorganized and reclaimed to make room for the expanded weight training and new cardiovascular training areas. This analysis alone not only saved the district thousands of dollars of new construction costs, it also saved on the future heating and cooling costs of the additional square footage.
Entry Improvements | Multiple additions and renovations to Saydel High School over the past several decades had resulted in a strange circumstance, where the set of west doors (originally intended as a secondary entrance) became the primary entrance to the high school. This was not only confusing to visitors of the school as to “where is the front door,” but also presented major security problems as school administrators had no control over the flow of visitors into and out of the building. The challenge to creating a sense of entry for the high school was working with only a narrow strip between the existing building and the parking lot. The solution was a to create a minimal, yet distinct entry canopy with lit banner flags, signage, and an accent retaining wall with landscaping. Security was greatly improved by moving the administrative offices to the space directly adjacent to the front entrance (formerly the weight room), punching large windows for vision to the parking lot, and modification to the vestibule doors to funnel visitors through the administrative offices before gaining access to the rest of the building.
“I have found HAILA to be responsive to our needs, collaborative in their approach to the design work, and solution focused in all phases of a project.”
-Dr. Brad Buck, Former Supt of Saydel CSD, Current Director of the Iowa Department of Education
Phase I Completed 2010 | Located in an industrial area on the north side of Des Moines, this athletic complex allows the Saydel Community School District to achieve its own identity through the programs that it supports. The district’s vision for a contemporary athletic facility is indicative of the progressive mentality of the community, and this four structure addition to the high school campus is the realization of that vision.
Phase II Completed 2014 | Funded by a 2013 Bond Referendum | Building on the success of the Phase I development, Phase II provided a football home and visitor bleachers, press box, synthetic turf, track modifications, and site beautification. The home and visitor bleachers flipped sides to create a better spectator experience for the home side fans.
The Woodward-Granger High School addition is the resultant built form of a growing district’s vision to provide modern educational and extra-curricular amenities to students as well as the community. The multi-level design fits seamlessly within the existing building and dynamic site, providing intuitive circulation flow for both student and public access. The level changes as well as the material contrast of the existing masonry to the contemporary pre-cast concrete echo the shift from academic to athletic areas.