Bethany School’s diverse enrollment was capped but demand was up. Once an orphanage, the converted classrooms were too small to support modern pedagogy. The new plan squeezes a K-2 building, a 3-8 building, and a cafeteria addition into the heart of the site while navigating a 20-foot elevation. The new designs capitalize on the owner’s mission to educate underserved populations and be good stewards of the environment.
The K-2 building is a modern take on the existing historic Tudor architecture. The 3-8 Building shifts to a more contemporary stone façade, culminating in the purely modern cafeteria addition. A community amphitheater, hardscape plaza, and natural playscape thoughtfully fill the areas in between.
The cost-effective, LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy pending school is the Midwest’s most sustainable school and a teaching tool for students, faculty, and regional designers.
Site Advances: Native-only plants improve habitat health. The school steps with the land, forming the natural playscape, which lowered recess injuries by 70%, enhances motor skills, and lowers ADHD/ other disorder effects. A campus geoloop distributes the heat/ cool load making existing buildings more efficient. Rainwater controls are 30% better than code while recharging the aquifer.
Architecture Advances: Designed to 19 EUI, the buildings use less energy than the average vacant building per SF. The high performance is achieved by a series of design-based energy models focused on massing, glare, spatial layouts, orientation, window profiles, and LCCA – for the cost of a typical school.
Interior Advances: Biophilic design includes natural wood seating nooks and child-sized refuge spaces that bolster a student’s proclivity for nature. The carpet recalls forest floor complexities without mimicking. Floor-to-ceiling nature scenes reduce stress and calm emotions; the design maximizes daylight to enhance learning abilities. Universal and Healthy Building Design is used throughout.
Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)
Conger Construction Group