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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2008 awards



Entry number: B08018
Project Name: Bishop Gorman Catholic High School
Building Type: Educational
Completion Date: September 2007
Architect: KGA Architecture
Building Location: 5959 S. Hualapai Way, Las Vegas, NV 89178

Design Team:
Electrical Engineer: JBA Consulting Engineers
Landscape Architect: Southwick Landscape Architecture
General Contractor: Tiberti
Structural Engineer: Barker Drottar
Civil Engineer: Poggemeyer
Interior Designer: KGA Architecture
Photographer: Opulence Studios/KGA Architecture
Theatre / Acoustical Design: Shen Milsom & Wilke
Food Service Design: Deili Murawka Smith

Project Description:
Project Category: Architecture
Type of Project: Education
Completion Date: September 2007
Type of Construction: Type IIB
Materials Used: Masonry, Steel, Concrete, EIFS, Stone
Building Area: 226,114 sq. ft.

Statement of Design Approach:
Successful integration of traditional Catholic themes and religious iconography in a 21st century contemporary context was the primary design goal of this project. Full design control was conveyed to the architect for all aspects of the project, including exterior architectural theming, interior design, and the incorporation of religious iconography into this campus. This iconography includes a contemporary interpretation of the Fourteen Stations of the Cross, replicated in the student corridors as well as in the stained glass windows in the chapel. In addition, the stained glass cross at the chapel altar as well as all altar furniture was also designed by the architect. This broad scope of design control exemplified the trust between client and architect.

Principally funded by private donations, the length of time from design inception to construction completion was extended over a number of years. Coupled with the long and beloved history of the school, the design process morphed into an extended collaborative effort including not only the administration and faculty, but also alumni and major donors. Furthermore, the design process continued during construction, making continuity in the overall design imperative. The new campus has reinvigorated the students and faculty, with the architecture reinforcing progressive education coupled with traditional religious teachings.

In 1954, Nevada's first Catholic high school opened with on in a city of approximately 35,000 residents. However, at the dawn of the 21st century, the downtown campus, still the only Catholic high school, now served a valley population of over one and a half million. The small, aging campus was comprised of a random group of small structures and a complete lack of sports facilities forced students to travel many miles off campus for all sports competitions. Several years of comprehensive studies indicated that remaining at the existing campus was not a viable, long term solution.

Ultimately the decision was made to acquire a thirty five acre parcel and build a new facility that could adequately meet the needs of students for decades to come. This new location provides ample area for athletic facilities, while permitting a comfortable educational environment for a maximum of 1,200 students. The new site includes a football stadium, baseball and softball fields, a soccer field with track facilities, tennis courts, and several large parking areas.

Three main buildings - administration, chapel, and the education and event building are all grouped around four distinct courtyards. These courtyards pay reverence to courtyards in catholic monasteries and offer a protective, calming environment in which to fully engage in the educational experience. Continuing with these religious references, an iconographic tower pays homage to the bell and clock towers of churches. The courtyards also serve to separate purely educational areas from more public spaces.

A unique, multi-function chapel is the religious center of the school. Subdivided by a movable partition, the space can function as a two hundred seat chapel and a fully functional classroom, or be opened up to a full three hundred seats allowing one class of students to attend mass at one time. Two main event venues, the gymnasium and a theater, are accessed from a large, central lobby. The theater includes 350 seats and a full height flyhouse while the gymnasium contains approximately 1,700 seats.

Strategically located in the center of the complex are the Library and Commons, the two centers of the daily lives of the students. As the intellectual center for the students, the library houses both traditional and technologically advanced media to broaden the educational experience. The Commons, where students gather for meals and to socialize, includes a demountable stage and sound system for school dances and other social activities.

Sustainable description:
Three main points were paramount for sustainable design: daylighting, mechanical systems efficiency and material selection. In addition to these principals, landscape areas within the interior courtyards will become exterior teaching labs focusing on the conservation of the desert and the incorporation of climate appropriate landscaping in the built environment.

Daylighting the interior of the school was of particular importance, not only to improve the performance of the students but also to reduce the energy consumption of artificial lighting. Clerestory windows bath all interior circulation spaces in natural light with wide roof overhangs shading the windows. The infusion of daylight continues in the classrooms, where indirect light fixtures augment the daylight thereby creating comfortable and uniform lighting levels while saving energy.

A state of the art mechanical control system strictly regulates building systems throughout the school day and year to reduce wasted energy and to focus central plan capacities in appropriate areas. To further reduce equipment loads and energy use, all rooftop equipment was placed within the building structure to reduce heat loads on the equipment.

Sustainable materials were incorporated in the project with an additional focus on durability. Most notable was the selection of linoleum for all high traffic areas including the student corridors and Main Lobby for ease of maintenance and durability. Another material extensively used in the campus is synthetic turf which significantly reduces water consumption.




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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:04 PST