Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies
Overland Park, Kansas
Square Footage: 68,200
LEED for New Construction Gold certification candidate
MacConnell Award Finalist
Gold Level - Living, Working, + Learning Environments
Edison Awards, 2011
Exhibition of School Architecture - Citation, 2011
National School Boards Association
The Blue Valley Schools Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) provides Blue Valley district’s juniors and seniors with unique educational programs offering integrated profession-based study.
Project goals were formulated in collaborative workshops that included administrators, educators, industry leaders, business professionals, and the project designers. Each participant was critical in developing the vision for the project and in lending his or her perspective on the direction of the industry “strands”: engineering; bioscience; business, technology, and media; and human services, each of which encompasses sub-pathways and was selected due to its relevancy in the Kansas City regional marketplace. In addition, the business accelerator features rapid prototyping labs.
The examination of ideal environments identified several common programmatic threads—large flexible spaces for “doing,” transparent project areas for collaboration, and small group areas for real-world meetings. The building organizes all spaces on three levels around a centralized student commons. Rising dramatically from one end of this commons, a large wood-clad amphitheater stair connects the entry level to floors above and provides an ideal amenity for large group presentations. Large, flexible project spaces overlook the student commons and provide a multitude of functions.
A LEED for Schools GOLD certified facility, CAPS incorporates an array of sustainable design strategies. The principal building orientation places the broad face of classrooms and labs spaces in a north- or south-facing orientation to maximize daylight. Fresh outdoor air is distributed via an underfloor zoned mechanical displacement ventilation system. Additional sustainable strategies include a rainwater cistern collection system for irrigation, solar screening, bioswales, rain gardens, recycled interior finishes, locally sourced materials, CO2 monitoring, and permeable site paving.