Entry number: B07046
Project Name: Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy – Phase IIIB
Location: Lake Mead & J Street, Las Vegas, NV
Building Type: High School and Gymnasium on an active campus (currently k-8)
Completion Date: September, 2007
Architect: Carpenter Sellers Associates
Architect: Carpenter Sellers Associates
Acoustical Design: SoundLogic, LLC
Civil Engineer: CivilWorksInc
Daylighting Analysis: Innovative Design
General Contractor: Sletten Construction
Interior Designer: Colours (w/CSA)
Landscape Architect: Lifescapes Int'l
Structural Engineer: Martin & Associates
Phase III of the AACPA provides the final pieces to the master plan for the campus conceived by the architects almost five years ago on the narrow 7.8 acre site that serves 650 students in grades K-12 at the Charter School. This phase includes the High School and Gymnasium. The High School is the culmination of the journey the students take on the linear campus mall. This piece of architecture reveals itself slowly as you walk down the campus. There are no open vistas that reveal the building immediately; much like the student’s academic journey to High School.
It would seem obvious that many of the design concepts for Phase IIIB were initiated during the design process; not so obvious would be that a small part of the construction started before this as a symbol of hope and what was to come in Phase II. In African Villages the gathering of people around the tree was the old means of establishing a community. For the last couple of years the tree has stood as this silent symbol in plain view to the community. It has been carefully protected during the construction of phase IIIB.
The matriculation process from K-12 is represented by the placement of structures on the site, and the sophistication of materials, detailing and scale of buildings. The linear path allows students to see where they are going and where they have been. Although the High School, existing Middle School, Gymnasium and existing Multipurpose Building are all actually connected as one building; the exterior design of each allows each “building” and the functions within the buildings to be identifiable as separate structures. This serves several purposes. First, it allows the different “buildings” to create a campus experience and provide students with something more than a monotonous feel. Second, it provides fundraising opportunities for the AACF to name buildings and their component parts after donors. In the end, there are eight identifiable “buildings”.
During the design process on the High School the architects proposed creating a tradition at the school that could be augmented by the architectural design. The AACF requested at third level roof garden that would provide unobstructed views of the City of Las Vegas. This roof garden would serve several purposes. The first was to provide a location to entertain donors. The second was to provide students with a special space to hold an outdoor class. The unfortunate truth is many of the students in the neighborhood the school serves have not had the opportunity to travel outside of their own neighborhood. The architects also proposed a third purpose….
The architects proposed a bridge from the roof deck to a smaller roof deck that spanned over the High School Quad below that will serve as the commencement bridge. The rule would be that you would not be able to cross the bridge until graduation. Students from all grade levels would be summoned to the High School Quad for an on campus celebration to watch and cheer as each graduate walked across the commencement bridge and placed a decal of the name of college they planned to attend on the glass guardrails of the bridge. It is here that the architects wished to express that the students’ journey does not end at Agassi Prep, the journey continues…
The original elementary building designed by another architect did not incorporate daylight into the design of its classrooms. We were challenged to instruct the foundation on the importance of daylight in the classroom setting, the benefit of providing natural daylight instead of artificial light and the long term benefit (to the student and the cost to run the facility) vs. addition cost up front over the life of the school. By utilizing the Standard Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools we provided a daylighting analysis and DOE2 building analysis to show how providing natural light in the classroom coupled with light monitors could positively impact learning and provide an efficient and sustainable means of light over the life of their systems. The specialty consultant and the architect worked closely to ensure proper window size and orientation to optimize daylighting and mechanical needs. The day lit spaces should provide enough light to totally eliminate artificial light 65% of the time during the school year. The sun’s direct rays are controlled by overhangs, motorized blinds and interior baffles. The buildings are oriented on the east/west axis with deep recessed windows and entries to respond to our desert environment.