Cook & Jepson Architects, Inc.
450 Church Street, Hartford, CT 06103
Principal-in-Charge: James LaPosta, Jr. AIA.
(860)247-9226, firstname.lastname@example.org |
Regional High School
Route 42, Beacon Falls, CT
Dr. Helene Skrzyniarz, Superintendent, (203)758-6671
Development Cost: $5,700,000.
Fixed Equipment Cost: $2,000,000.
Firms and products are listed below planning principles.
1. How does the project enhance learning (and teaching), and support
the needs of all learners?
This new high school is organized into a series
of Learning Suites rather than the traditional set of classrooms. Each suite
allows for a variety of combinations of small and large group instruction,
student project work, and conferencing. Technology education, business,
nursing, child development, and food service areas are distributed
throughout the school in order to promote greater collaboration between
disciplines. All areas have access to the technology network and are
designed to support an interactive, hands-on, minds-on approach to learning.
2. How does the design reinforce the school as a
center of the community?
This high school provides a regional center for
two towns that share no common border. The outdoor plaza becomes the “town
green” and gathers the academic, arts, and athletic pavilions around it.
Each pavilion is an identifiable, independent structure that serves the
greater community as well as the high school. Child development studios and
the business suite are located in an area of the school convenient for
public access during the school day in order to assist community members in
becoming a part of the learning program. The school is located in a formerly
unused portion of a public park. It now provides recreational facilities as
well as support services for the balance of the park.
3. Describe the planning/design process and who
The design and planning process took place over a
five-year period and involved hundreds of citizens in the two towns that
comprise the regional district. A volunteer building committee coordinated
the effort which included meetings with local officials, neighbors, taxpayer
associations, senior citizens groups, parks and recreation officials, local
business people, and general public workshops. Cable television and the
internet were used to inform the public about the development of the
project. Finally, a series of “expert committees” made up of educators
from the region as well as neighboring regions collaborated on the design of
specific program areas.
4. How does the project provide for health, safety
and security, beyond standard approaches?
The school is organized to allow clear and easy
circulation throughout the building. The steep site required a series of
large stairs that have been kept open to enhance the school environment but
also ease supervision. All areas of the school have windows from the hallway
to provide a sense of openness and safety. Hallways with windows to the
outside admit abundant daylight and allow students to see other activity
during the day. Teacher Centers and administrative offices are distributed
throughout the school in order to promote the easy interaction of adults and
5. How does the project enhance the use of all
Technology is integrated throughout the school
and site– voice, video, and data networks connect all areas of the
building, not simply the classrooms. A digital wireless data network allows
access to resources from any point in the school and most of the site.
Students will have the ability to link to network resources from the parking
lot, football field, or wetlands study area. Large areas of the site have
been preserved to provide a natural ecosystem for study. Culinary arts
instruction has been located near the cafeteria to allow a sharing of
resources. Connections with local businesses are supported by the business
suite, child development classrooms, and technology education centers.
6. What unique strategies allow for flexibility
and adaptability to changing needs?
The Learning Suites have been designed to support
not only the types of small and large group instruction that are currently
envisioned, but also a departmental model should that ever be reconstituted.
Each suite could easily function as 4 traditional classrooms with two
departmental offices. The wireless network will allow an easy
reconfiguration of technology resources on a daily basis. Site areas have
been reserved for future classroom expansion. The technology education areas
are open “loft space” designed to be re-fitted as technology needs
Manager: O&G Industries; Bruce Walpole, (860)489-9261
Mechanical: CES; Douglas Lajoie, (860)632-1682
Structural: Macci Engineers; James Brockman, (860)549-6190
Landscape: CR3 Land Planners; Jeffrey Gebrian, (860)658-1988
Kitchen: Crabtree McGrath Associates; Robert McGrath, (978)232-1122
Technology: CCR/Pyramid; Michael Kerwin,