RB+B Architects received the Summit Design Award last night at the CEFPI Rocky Mountain Chapter’s annual awards celebration for the STEM Conversion Project at Northglenn High School.

Northglenn High School is a large 1960’s-era comprehensive high school serving 1,900 students throughout Adams 12 Five Star Schools in northern Denver. The District provides aquatics programs for its students and for decades the swimming pool at Northglenn High School was the primary facility for these programs. When the District constructed a new comprehensive high school, a new aquatic center was incorporated into that facility and the aging pool at Northglenn High School became obsolete.

The principal of the school expressed a need for more educational space, and the District realized that the pool vessel and the building envelope were in relatively good condition. The District elected to re-purpose the existing Natatorium and Change House space into new educational space for their STEM program.

The Design Team worked with the district’s Design Advisory Group to establish a space program that included large STEM Studios for each desired pathway, a shared fabrication space, a shared large presentation space, a shared small presentation space, and shared breakout spaces. The intent was to provide generous spaces for direct instruction and lab-based exploration, and to supplement those spaces with spaces that support small and large breakout group collaboration, hands-on investigation and application, and presentation of findings to peers. Having access to a collection of different spaces affords instructors the opportunity to direct their students in a variety of learning settings.

The spaces are organized such that the large Studios are around the periphery and the presentation spaces are in the center, across the circulation path from one another. The large presentation space may flex to open to the circulation space on one side, and the small presentation space may flex to open to the circulation space from the other side, or both may be opened simultaneously to create a gallery atmosphere for special events, such as an exhibition of student work. A reception area, workroom, kitchenette, and large and small conference rooms were provided to support instructors and visiting outside professionals as well as after-hours use of the presentation spaces. In circulation areas, small informal spaces were created as well as spaces for storage and display of student work.

For more information on the project, click here.