Garden City High School
Garden City, KS
Garden City USD 457’s vision is that diversity is a strength and school is a total learning community where anyone can learn anything, any time, any place. With a Hispanic student population more than three times that of the state average, Garden City is one of the more diverse communities in Kansas. However, an outdated learning environment was hindering students’ success and community building at the high school level.
The new 2,000-student Garden City High School represents an opportunity to positively impact the entire community and help shape the future of Western Kansas. The school is a dynamic showpiece which positions Garden City as a progressive community committed to preparing the next generation of leaders for the state.
DLR Group’s unique architecture of Garden City High School is complementary to the agricultural based western Kansas biome. The durable exterior material palette is reflective of the regional context. A large, radius loop road surrounding the school provides a clear way-finding device that metaphorically represents irrigation circles, and the growth and nurturing of students within the circle.
Garden City High School features the latest innovations in education, including small and large group gathering areas, and collaboration spaces to support project-based learning. The flexible design also has the ability to adapt to future educational models and enrollments.
The 384,000 SF design consists of four small learning communities (SLCs) to subdivide student/teacher populations and encourage interaction between students and staff. After completing the Ninth Grade SLC experience, students choose a SLC based on personal interests and future aspirations in Education & Finance; Information Technology; or Health & Agriculture.
Each SLC houses a de-centralized administrative and counseling team, core and elective classrooms, outdoor gathering areas, and student living rooms and resource centers. Student living rooms are social spaces with Wi-Fi access, flexible furniture and soft seating where students can interact before and after school and between class periods. Student resource centers are flexible, studio-like environments that support group gatherings, presentations, demonstrations and project-based learning activities.