Columbus High School3434 Discoverer Drive
Columbus, NE 68601
Design Achievement – With a history of failed bond issues and a fast growing student population, Columbus Public Schools turned to DLR Group for assistance in creating a plan that would be embraced by the community and support district growth for years to come. DLR Group's design team identified and aligned the needs of the district with the desires of the community through the design of a multipurpose high school. Enhancing the district’s opportunities, reinforcing school and community pride and accounting for future growth, the new high school allows the district to convert its existing high school into a middle school. The facility creates fresh opportunities for the district through the inclusion of a performance and recital center tailored toward musical productions, a gymnasium complex large enough to accommodate various team practice schedules and four small learning communities distributed on both floors of the building with a separate designated STEAM learning environment. With community engagement playing a key role in the project, designers integrated metal building systems from local Behlen Manufacturing Company into several building components, creating a profile that reflects the school’s discoverers mascot and providing a deeper connection to the community. Custom graphics throughout the school promote wayfinding and pay homage to famous historical discoverers while also reinforcing school pride.
Scope Summary – The scope of work for this project encompassed 260,000 SF serving up to 1,400 students. The project included a 750 seat performing arts facility and 1,800 seat competition gym. The district’s previous high school site was too tight to accommodate parking needs for students and staff, so the new site increases parking capabilities by providing approximately 1,000 concrete parking stalls. The school’s mascot is incorporated in the soft geometry of the interior and exterior design, with early discoverers’ billowing sails and rolling seas as well as the school colors serving as inspiration. For enhanced energy efficiency, natural daylighting and a geothermal heating and air conditioning system were implemented throughout the facility. DLR Group provided architecture, civil engineering, structural engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and interior design services.