Leading Up to the Design Process
Developing architectural designs that fit the needs of Ladue Schools students in the short and the long term is a long, involved and evolutionary process. At the very beginning of the process, we seek to thoroughly understand our current buildings — their advantages, their limitations, the life expectancy of major systems and the topography on which they lie.
Another vital early step is getting extensive input from those who spend time in the current buildings on a regular basis to determine what educational needs are being fulfilled and which are not. To do this, Programming Teams were pulled together for the three schools which are anticipated to need the greatest amount of renovation: Old Bonhomme Elementary School, Spoede Elementary School and Ladue Middle School. These teams consist of administrators, teachers from each discipline and parents who are active in the school.
Four rounds of workshops were completed by these Programming Teams prior to the architects initiating the formal design process. The goals of these workshops, as well as the presentation decks used to guide the discussions, are listed below. The evolution from “big ideas and dreaming” to pragmatic, affordable solutions will be evident when chronologically reviewing these documents. That being said, these designs, nor the associated estimated costs for design and construction, are far from being finalized.
Please note that no specific designs or timing for these improvements have been determined. Those decisions will be made by the Board of Education over the coming months and will be based on our ability to get back to “normal” school schedules following the pandemic, the ability to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Ladue Schools community about these needs, and the economy.
Programming Team Workshops – Round One. On Feb. 25, 2020, all three Programming Teams met as one to discuss the goals of this series of workshops. Immediately following this introductory meeting, the two elementary schools and the middle school met separately to begin their individual work, which included: developing guiding principals, defining “Future Ready Schools,” activity mapping and identifying the types of areas to be designed.
- Workshop 1A – Introduction (all three schools)
- Workshop 1B – Old Bonhomme and Spoede Elementary Schools
- Workshop 1B – Ladue Middle School
Programming Team Workshops – Round Two. On March 11 and 12, the three groups met separately to review their work from the previous workshop for accuracy and completeness and to diagram the ideal relationships between spaces.
- Workshop 2 – Old Bonhomme Elementary School
- Workshop 2 – Spoede Elementary School
- Workshop 2 – Ladue Middle School
Programming Team Workshops – Round Three. On April 3 and 6, the three groups met separately (and virtually) to see the work they had completed in Round Two translated into rough drawings indicating possible placement for various areas and size relationships. The groups provided feedback to the architects so that they could then move to even more specific designs.
- Workshop 3 – Old Bonhomme Elementary School
- Workshop 3 – Spoede Elementary School
- Workshop 3 – Ladue Middle School
On July 1, 2020, the architectural team presented the Schematic Designs reflected in this document for approval before moving on with the design process. In this document you will find the existing conditions, the proposed site plans, the overall building plans, classroom configurations, color and material palettes, and aerial views of the designs for Old Bonhomme Elementary School, Spoede Elementary School and Ladue Middle School.
These designs will continue to be refined in anticipation of the time when the district and its community are prepared to move forward with the bond referendum required to achieve these improvements.
Shown Above (top to bottom): Renderings of the Old Bonhomme Elementary gymnasium, the Ladue Middle School collaborative space on the second floor, and an aerial view of Spoede Elementary School. Please click here to see the complete designs.
General Features to be Incorporated
Following is a list of characteristics and features that are being considered and incorporated as these designs take shape.
- Classrooms designed to accommodate today’s educational best practices which require spaces conducive to collaboration: small group work; the integrated use of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM); and the opportunity for students to apply their knowledge in real-world applications and group-based projects
- Flexible science classrooms at the middle school with lab and lecture capability, which also have the ability to incorporate technology and engineering components into educational programming
- Technology and furniture which facilitate flexible use of each classroom
Safety and Security
- Expansion of safety and security features with minimized entrances and exits; continuous, clear sight lines; and safeguards for visitor entry
- Upgrades to meet all current codes, including full use and accessibility for students, staff and visitors with disabilities
- Clear and intuitive way-finding
- Ability to close part of the building to visitors, while leaving other areas accessible
- Improved ability for supervision by staff and administrators
- Seismic improvements in all renovated and rebuilt areas
- Focus on sustainable design of all mechanical systems and recycling of materials resulting from demolition
- Energy efficient and easily controlled HVAC system capable of adjusting to varying loads within the building
- Adjustable, automated and more energy-efficient lighting
- Better delineation and configuration of parking, vehicular traffic flow and pedestrian traffic flow
- Note: It was estimated that the renovation of the high school would decrease utility expenses by 25%. Initial analyses indicate the savings to be closer to 32%.