White County High School - Career Academy

The career & technical education facility is a renovated grocery store which accommodates labs and classrooms. Other spaces include a computer lab and administration suite.

The project is a renovation of a big box grocery store, with an attached retail suite, into a career and technical education facility for White County High School. This building type deemphasizes the connection to the exterior, depending on artificial lighting and atmospheric controls to preserve and display products in a cost effective and structurally efficient form. While the existing footprint provided sufficient space, the lack of fenestration created problems for the new educational program. The connection to exterior views and daylighting is imperative for modern buildings, especially educational facilities.

Access to daylight and views both improve the learning environment, and aid in safety and security for students, faculty and staff. Additionally, the roof had recently been replaced, eliminating the option of roof penetrations to daylight the deep footprint of the building.

To minimize costs, new exterior penetrations were carefully inserted between
the existing lateral reinforcing around the building perimeter. New floor to ceiling fenestration carves light paths through the interior of the building, creating unobstructed views, while also daylighting the deepest parts of the facility. Beyond light and views, the wide axial corridors create a collegiate and engaging atmosphere by forming ‘streets’ and ‘intersections’ within the ‘larger city’ of the building. Large interior classroom windows encourage curiosity and a desire to learn by allowing students to visually eavesdrop on other curriculum.