Elkhorn Public Schools

North Ridge Middle School

New School

Completion:

August 2021

Omaha, Nebraska

Location:

Size:

153,600 sq. ft.

The process for this new school began by touring recently completed middle schools with Elkhorn Public Schools to learn if there was anything that could be incorporated from others' experiences and environments. This process developed a wealth of knowledge that opened up design options leading in several directions. The largest realization that came forth out of the visioning process was that we needed to consider not only master planning for 900 students, but we needed to consider that 900 students would need to occupy the school sooner rather than later. Previous middle schools were designed to support 750 students, but what we found was that this resulted in cramped spaces being used in very creative ways to meet their needs. While all school districts and teachers alike are certainly commended for their creativity in these situations, as architects this is not the ideal that we strive for. This realization led to an in depth review of the spaces typically included in the Elkhorn Public School District’s programming as well as a review of the district maps to understand how the district may continue to grow in the future and what impact this may have on the new school. The result? Larger shared spaces, for the Band, Chorus, Commons, Locker Rooms, Kitchen, and Administrative Areas among others. Additionally, enough classrooms were added to the building to accommodate 900 students.