Schooled in Good Design

May 03, 2016 | blog

Lafayette Parish has not had a new high school in almost 50 years. When its newest, Acadiana High, opened its doors in 1969, Woodstock and the Apollo 11 moon landing were current events. 

So, it's with a sense of urgency, as well as civic pride that Abell + Crozier + Davis Architects are designing a new high school for the South Lafayette Parish community. The facility, recently named Southside High School, is expected to be ready for 9th and 10th graders next fall.

Since the 1960’s, innovation has lead to dramatic changes in teaching methods and technology use in education. Our school design is keeping those advancements in mind by highlighting energy efficiency, paying attention to new teaching styles and including areas dedicated to collaboration and showcasing student projects. Essentially, the building itself will become an educational tool.

The school’s curriculum will place a strong emphasis on energy and agriculture. Students can observe principles of passive solar design such as the school’s orientation to the movements of the sun, keeping the building cooler in hot weather and warmer in the winter months.

Shared spaces defined by glass around classrooms will allow teachers to separate student groups, while still monitoring them, to encourage collaboration amongst peers.

Southside High School classrooms will be flexible, allowing teachers to utilize traditional and modern teaching methods to benefit individual learning styles of students.

Working with the Lafayette school board, we’ve also made sure to create spaces that will showcase student projects about coursework or career tracks. The school curriculum plans to highlight options for students who plan to attend college or go straight into the workforce after graduation.

We believe that energy efficiency is good design and it is worth some extra effort in the early stages of design to ensure that sustainability is a cornerstone of every project.


© Abell + Crozier Architects