Northview High School

  • area / size 100,745 sqft
  • Completed 2015
  • Bond Architects, Inc. designed the new state-of-the-art Northview High School located in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Northview High School serves students aged 14 through 21 with intellectual disabilities, mobility impairments, autism, behavioral disorders, cognitive delays, multi-symptom disorders and emotional disturbances. Northview’s acclaimed curriculum provides students with a personalized, traditional academic framework, while balancing “real world” exposure and life skills training. Because the students have a wide-range of abilities, the school requires specialized learning environments that support each group’s physical, sensory and educational needs.

    Specific curricular suites are designed accordingly and are accessed from a large corridor that forms a loop, with a therapy garden and courtyard at the center. Suites are linked so that swing classrooms can serve one suite or the adjacent suite, depending on need. A visual connection to the courtyard through large windows in suites and common spaces orient students moving through the building.

    Common gathering spaces promote educational enrichment, personal and group interaction, and life skills training, while also inspiring independence and self-reliance. Given the challenges and sensitivities of the students, the aesthetics of the learning environment – colors, light, and structure – took on additional importance. The use of inviting colors, contrast and cues, reflect a natural and soothing environment. Care was taken to select materials for building finishes that reflect and enhance the calming, natural theme, but also offer the necessary durability.

    Challenging site considerations included building the new facility immediately adjacent to the existing building, until the new school could be occupied and the existing demolished. Demolition of an existing shared access road and creating a new raised elevation road during the summer presented additional challenges. Northview is steel frame construction, except the gymnasium that is pre-cast concrete “t’s” on poured-in-place reinforced concrete walls. The gym is designed to withstand 250 mph winds (an F5 tornado) and holds 900 people, well beyond Northview’s 200 students and 100 staff.

    DesignerBond Architects, Inc.
    Contractor: ICS
    Photography: Alise O’Brien Photography & Natasha Day, Bond Architects, Inc.