Columbus High School3434 Discoverer Drive
Columbus, NE 68601
Design Achievement - The new Columbus High School “stemmed” from the concept of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and the desire to enhance community partnerships. DLR Group designers collaborated with parents, teachers, community members, local business partners, and students to create an educational home for students to transition from high school to the workforce or other higher education opportunities with enthusiasm and ease. The facility features specialized laboratories with interdisciplinary units where math, science, and career and technical teachers connect traditional education to the art of hands-on craftsmanship. To ensure educational spaces reflect actual workforce environments DLR Group gathered input from local community business partners, focusing primarily on equipment available for student use. Extensive welding equipment, tools, machinery and more are available for lessons and special projects. Students can apply industry-specific skills they gain at Columbus High School to tasks on job sites or manufacturing companies. The STEM experience better prepares students for the workforce by blending craftsmanship and theory, and effectively engages and benefits all students, from those seeking a career in the workforce following graduation to those planning a career in design and engineering fields. Hands-on activities are applicable to everyday life and can be used beyond skill-specific trades and industries. Students at Columbus High School are able to achieve certification in various areas, which is advantageous on a college application or resume.
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.