At a school with high teacher turnover in addition to academically struggling students, many of whom lived in poverty, the design team was challenged with creating a safe and engaging space that would inspire both students and teachers. The replacement facility is located on the former high school’s football field, minimizing disruption so construction could proceed while the original school remained occupied.
To build a sense of place, the design incorporates a “Hall of Fame” showcased along the School’s Main Street concept to celebrate Ballou’s history and achievements. The Main Street features the major programs, revolving around a mind (administration), body (athletics) and spirit (arts) concept. Core academic spaces are organized into five distinct academies that each have classrooms, flexible multi-use rooms, and computer and science labs. The school also features a digital media studio, and one of the largest high school auditoriums in the region.
Ballou’s sustainable design includes enhanced energy-saving features and undulating floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing large expanses of natural light into the public and learning spaces. The bright, community-oriented facility promotes student success and serves as a local asset: generous common spaces promote collaboration for an interdisciplinary learning environment for 1,400 students, while a high-tech performing arts theater, athletic and fitness complex, auto-tech lab, health center, day care center and library have been positioned for easy community access. A separate and distinct entrance for the STAY Program’s 900 adult-learners demonstrates Ballou’s commitment to connections with the community.
Ballou Senior High School was designed with sustainability in mind, within a tight budget. Water and energy reduction strategies achieved usage reductions at 32.04% and 29%, respectively, and low-emitting materials were deliberately used to create a healthy, sustainable indoor environment.
The project is located within 1/4 mile walking distance, measured from a main building entrance, to 6 public bus stops usable by building occupants. There are 193 spaces provided for 2,077 occupants.
% reduction of water use in all plumbing fixtures = 32.04%
The project was able to divert 96.04% of construction waste from landfills. The project used the following low-emitting materials:
-Armstrong DUNE square Lay-in
-Armstrong ULTIMA Tegular
-CertainTEED Ecophon Gedina E/24
-CertainTEED Ecophon Gedina E/15
-Armstrong Cermaguard Fine Fissure
-Armstrong Optima Square Lay-in
-National Gypsum Company Fire-Shield Gypsum Board
-Knauf Ecobatt Insulation Thermal/Acoustic Insulation