A new master plan and gateway building in response to, and juxtapose against, historic cues at the 89-year Sweetwater High School. BCA updated campus circulation and safety while consolidating academic and administration functions in Building 100, designed to LEED Platinum certification. Placed at the campus edge, and housing student services, classrooms, a library, and a theater, the three-story building frees up needed open space at the campus center.
As a local bond measure was passed that helped fund the $30 million new construction, it’s not surprising that the community continues to remain involved. The planning and design of the school was overseen by a steering committee made up of residents, teachers, parents, fire and police representatives and school board members. The group met once a month to set the direction of the design. A smaller user group assisted with programming of the building.
Facing a main arterial street that runs across the city required a civic presence for the new building. Along the extended 430 ft façade, light pours in from the 3-story atrium of a central tower, designed to echo the original 1922 Mission Revival building on site and marks the campus entrance; as counterpoint, a transparent glass curtain wall wraps the 250-seat theater and classroom wings, maximizing daylight into the building. The theater’s glass-covered exterior, etched with the word “Sweetwater” presents a sleek welcome to both community and students. The building’s civic appearance and iconic tower are responsive to past context and student’s future needs.