LOCATION : St. Louis, Missouri
MARKET : Education
AREA : 512,308 gsf (272,510 gsf renovation; 212,583 gsf new construction; 27,215 existing to remain)
Unique Educational Opportunities

The new Lindbergh High School, constructed on the school's existing campus, provides dramatically enhanced opportunities for student-centered education.

The plans from the architect team of Cordogan Clark and Perkins+Will included a major renovation of the existing buildings on campus as well as the construction of a new three-story addition which contains flexible learning areas, collaborative spaces, and classrooms. A three-story "T building" and a one-story structure, referred to as the "pancake" are reused on the new campus, along with two existing gyms, the pool, two existing cafeterias, the student commons, and the round library building. A new three-story building referred to as the "boomerang" connects the existing structures, forming a single school under one roof. A new auditorium and a centralized media center were also added as part of the boomerang.

Though existing buildings have been reused where practical, they have been updated to be compatible with the new construction. This provides cost-effective and sustainable architecture with no sacrifice of quality.

The "Design Center" houses "maker" classes like journalism, shop and family and consumer sciences and has a "very industrial feeling, open ceilings, very warehouse," Superintendent Dr. Tony Lake said.

"Collaboration spaces" between the hallways of the remodeled and new buildings on each floor make everything feel connected. These spaces invite students to work together in groups and support a major goal of this project: flexibility. "We really were trying to get at the heart of flexibility allowing this building to be transformed," Lake said. "When you think about the work which kids need to do once they leave us, the ability to collaborate and work on a team is one of the most essential skills that youth can have to be successful. Why would we not, when we have the opportunity to design a space, provide opportunities for our kids to be in those spaces to be able to work in teams?"

The new auditorium, complete with a professional-depth orchestra pit and a fly system for props, is also flexible: Instead of having fixed seating, the balcony has approximately 350 seat that can be moved to make the space available as a multipurpose room when needed. A folding partition can further separate the space if desired.

The school's new Expo Center features space for classes with visual and hands-on aspects such as art, shop, family and consumer science, journalism, and technology. Students can work at the technology help desk and assist their peers with computer issues, learn how to do lighting for shows in the black box theater, or fly drones – many opportunities unique to the district. Writable surfaces throughout the building allow students to collaborate whenever and wherever they want. Rooms with green screens in the library and pillows on the ground create a comfortable and engaging environment.

All buildings are linked and the campus is reoriented to have one front entrance for improved security, another goal of the project. In an effort to keep some of the familiar open campus feel for students who enjoy learning outdoors, the new school features an internal courtyard that is fully surrounded by campus buildings and not open to the street. The courtyard opens off the new media center, which is the new heart of the campus. "You can see how it feels more like a campus, everything's under one roof," Superintendent Lake said. "It doesn't feel like a traditional high school," he adds. "It's pretty unique."

High school students are not the only ones in the District who get to enjoy the newly completed school. The old, iconic circle library has been transformed into a new gifted center for both LEAP and PEGs elementary students across the district, called "The Idea Center."