Kearney High School

  • Client

    • Wilkins Architecture Design & Planning
  • Project Type

  • Area

    • 340,000 ft²

Design Achievement - The new Kearney High School, located on an expansive plot of land near the Platte River, reflects the level of innovation you’d expect in a town shaped by pioneers and trailblazers. The school abuts two main intersections, an intentional location that heralds its presence as a cornerstone of the community. Intrinsic in the building’s conception is the District’s desire to move toward a small learning community (SLC) model of education. Instead of the traditional shoebox design, Kearney High School is constructed in a semi-circle, dividing the larger campus into smaller, specialized subdivisions, each dedicated to a specific career pathway. Every SLC includes several labs for hands-on learning, as well as dedicated spaces for small group collaboration or one-on-one interaction. Open, instructional spaces are designed to support a variety of learning styles, encouraging teachers to move around among the students as they work. There are multiple forums for students to share their accomplishments and explorations, exemplifying the importance of celebrating students’ learning, be it product or presentation. The school design is to reach and motivate all types of learners, from the hands-on learner to the performer and everyone in between. Extensive Career Technical Education (CTE) facilities and a state-of-the-art fine and performing arts center are designed to be highly flexible for different performing styles, such as guest speakers or choir productions. Moveable curtains adjust the exposure of the walls in order to tune the room appropriately. The acoustics are adaptable and can be utilized to support a multitude of various activities. DLR Group’s design for Kearney High School achieves the district’s goal to provide a learning environment that empowers students and supports their unique needs. 

Scope Summary - The scope of work for this project created a new 340,000 SF high school to accommodate the growing community. Those who enter are greeted by a massive blue “K” positioned at the entrance of the building, an emblem of the school’s pride and spirit. Supported by an open loop geothermal system, the 1800-student campus includes SLCs for Business, Marketing and Information Technology, Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Fine and Performing Arts, Human Sciences and Education, Health Sciences and STEM, as well as a separate SLC for 9th grade students. The library, located at the heart of school, maximizes natural light and provides access to a modern day collection of technology and video. The athletic grounds – an integral part of the school’s design – are accessed via a roof-level platform off the cafeteria, support the school’s well-known track team and offer a field for soccer and football games. Opposing teams enter the playing field through a gauntlet, also known as a “Walk of Fame” that highlights past athletic team and individual successes. DLR Group provided architecture, landscape design and all engineering services.

Kearney High School

Wilkins Architecture Design & Planning