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3-in-1: Serving and Integrating Three Distinct Audiences and
Purposes in a Single Building

Duane Cash, Project Manager 

Dr. Kenny Southwick, Deputy Superintendent

Michael Kautz, Principal

ACI Boland Architects; Shawnee Mission School District

Domains: Context, Learning, Process, Parameters, Toolbox

Course Level: Intermediate

Learning Units: 1 LU/HSW

Room: A602

Saturday, October 28, 2017 @ 4:30 pm


The Shawnee Mission School District Center for Academic Achievement intertwines spaces for education, administration and community in one building — a new approach that creates a unique learning environment and strengthens connections between three distinct but interrelated groups. The facility’s architects and school district leaders will guide you through the fresh approach, detailing a flexible, integrated layout that encourages the beneficial, organic interactions that broaden perspectives and create learning opportunities. They’ll also share the space planning efficiencies they found in the new building, reducing administrative square footage from 500,000 across five buildings to just 131,000 in the new facility. The presenters will share how this innovative facility benefits all three audiences it serves: Integration benefits to students:

  • Advanced and technical programs are now available to all district high schoolers, not just honor students or students from a specific school.
  • Students in various programs can collaborate in new and valuable ways; for instance, biotech and culinary can collaborate on food safety.
  • Students gain experience within a professional business environment, readying them more effectively for life beyond school. Integration benefits to administrators: Administrators — now under one roof — share goals and ideas more effectively, increasing organizational efficiency and building a strong and collaborative culture.
  • Administrators connect more directly with the kids they are working every day to support, providing inspiration and perspective. Integration benefits to the community: Community members have access to much-needed meeting space for a wide range of organizations, and walking paths adjacent to a golf course and park. Community members get a new perspective on the ingenuity of students and the commitment of administrators and educators.

The facility was built sustainably, with multiple recycled, reused and recyclable elements. It also provides a healthful working environment, with a Health Clinic, Wellness Center, walking trails, natural daylighting, underfloor air distribution and vertical garden walls. The building’s flexibility and adaptability future-proofs the facility for shifting and emerging needs; raised floors, open ceilings with cable trays and demountable walls make it easier to meet new space needs without renovation.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will be able to evaluate if the 3-in-1 approach is an appropriate solution for a school district’s facility needs. 
  2. Participants will be able to quantify design approaches that encourage collaboration and beneficial organic interactions that support the learning environment. 
  3. Participants will be able to outline sustainable and wellness-oriented elements that contribute to a healthful learning environment.
  4. Participants will be able to develop a checklist of future-proofed elements that make a learning environment more flexible and adaptable to shifting and emerging needs.