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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Lansing board OKs design development

  • The architects and contractors who will build the new high school off DeSoto Road for the Lansing School District now have a board-approved design document to guide them.
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  • The architects and contractors who will build the new high school off DeSoto Road for the Lansing School District now have a board-approved design document to guide them.
    The unanimous action by the Lansing School Board to approved the design development came after a lengthy presentation during a special meeting Monday night. The design is the result of months of work by not only the architects, but by various committees of district and high school administrators and teachers who will use the completed facility. According to senior project architect Greg Porter of Hollis and Miller Architects, his firm has taken input gathered as part of visioning sessions and general design meetings to develop the current design.
    “What we do as building designers is take all of your input and try to edit as little as possible,” he said. “We try to put that input directly into the design.”
    The design contains many of the features that eventually received the thumbs-up from those in the input sessions ― the elimination of lockers in favor of varied “collaboration spaces” that will function both as the social gathering place that lockers now are and as spots for either group work or one-on-one specialized instruction, storm shelters that can withstand up to 150 mile-per-hour winds, administrative offices scattered throughout the three-level building and increased security measures.
    The building also makes use of its entries to allow for access during community events and for access to the pool that will be part of the building.
    In addition to enhanced safety and flexible spaces to allow for learning to take place outside of the classroom, the design includes charging stations throughout the school to accommodate an increasing amount of technology and a “Lion Walk” near the entrance of the facility that project architect Meg Warner said will serve as a sort of “statement” to both current students and visitors for the school.
    But Porter cautioned that the ultimate design will in part be driven by the budget for the construction.
    “The final form of the building may not going to be exactly what is in the book, but it's going to be very, very close,” he said.
    From here, Warner said the design goes to the construction drawing phase, a four-month period during which the architects will have less to share with the board and community. But Project Manager Larry Jordan told the board that they should be able to see some updates for themselves soon enough.
    “Things are going to be happening out there before school ends,” he said, referring to work at the site.
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