Adding over 110,000 square feet to the existing West Albany High School campus, this addition boasts several arts and vocational environments to amplify student opportunities. With the understanding that arts-based learning coupled with vocational education programs enhance student success, a state-of-the-art community theatre, a Career and Technical Education wing with multiple outward focused learning spaces, a thoughtful and inspiring performing arts center, and a flexible health occupations classroom cluster with direct access to the new auxiliary gym have been added to meet the rigorous needs of students.
These spaces were designed with not only the students, but also the community in mind. Both the health occupations coupled with the auxiliary gym cluster and the theatre and performing arts center are accessible after hours without needing access to the building as a whole. The community has been invited to use these spaces and the students have enjoyed supporting outside groups in using their facilities. As students learn to use the equipment and potentially continue in these fields, we hope they continue to come back and access the facilities with their performance and sports groups and continue to build upon the legacy for generations to come.
As you approach the new building a bold and welcoming new font entry draws you in. The new safety conscious and centralized main entry includes a secure double storefront design with high visibility, card-controlled access, and intelligent cameras monitoring visitors as they enter the new reception center. Just beyond reception there is convenient access to the collaboration-focused administrative wing which includes a new Counseling and Career Center to round out the robust administrative expansion. Just beyond the main entry you are drawn into the expanded commons area which is a beaming example of the ample natural light woven into the learning spaces throughout the project. Mounting the hurdles of adding both roll up doors and folding glass walls was well worth it to create this vibrant environment conducive to learning.
HMK facilitated a rigorous process of designing and building to both education program and district-wide building system standards with a coordinated two-phase master plan replacement of the original 1956 high school. The first phase needed to address building access issues, administrative department layout inefficiencies, and critical facilities upgrade needs including restroom improvements, safety and security enhancements, high-efficiency HVAC, and a much-needed kitchen and commons area expansion. Despite the complexities, HMK supported the district with project leadership enabling the district to fulfill the bond commitment, exceeding the expectation of the district and the community.