Seeing K-12 Design Through a Future Lens

Our process of master planning takes us through deciphering between goals, needs and wants of the school. While the needs and goals are in the forefront of planning, the future ‘wants’ help us avoid the potential “dead ends” in the design, by seeing the school for what it needs to be years from today. Master planning allows us to see Byron Center Christian School as a story which is told and a story that will continue to be told.

The Byron Center Christian Middle School expansion includes added classrooms, art, multipurpose, and rest rooms. The office and entrance received an upgrade to improve flow and security.

The front of the school received a new glass entry canopy.  The addition and renovation design tied two parts of the building together and created a courtyard for daylight and outdoor student space. 

Site Traffic and Parking

A solution to the existing intermingled traffic addressed the car and bus entry points which would allowed for two separate areas for both bus and parent drop off.  The old bus drop-off became the far end of rectangular courtyard spanning the length of the school and addition daylight to interior classrooms.


Clear and Controlled Entrance

Defining a secure entrance to the school was an important design goal. The existing school building presented a challenge of several similar entrances for parents, students and staff.  Visitors were unsure where to enter the school which increased potential chaos during drop off and end of school.

The new entrance provides an inviting and clear point of entry and a security vestibule which acts as a visitor check point. The second set of doors, locked during off-peak hours and route visitors to the reception desk area. The office wall behind the reception allows a visual overlook for staff to see through to the front desk. Remaining entrances were revamped with card access.

In addition to the canopy serving as an obvious entry point, the canopy, along with plenty of natural light, adds architectural character to the school. The scale of a raised roof and form of the entrance adds height to the rest of the school, yet colors and masonry elements match well to create an overall inviting architectural appeal.

Master Planning for Future Expansion

Through block planning, our master planning process allowed us to incorporate the foresight and future needs of the school. The design includes a layout which allows the new multipurpose room to be converted into two classrooms.  The master plan includes a space for a future gymnasium and a conversion of the existing gym into a future multipurpose room.