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RePublic High School

In 2015 the MZA was hired to develop a master plan for expanding the charter school’s facility from one with capacity for a single freshman class to a true 9-12 campus housing 1100 students. The school occupied a single story 1960’s building that had seen a number of additions throughout the decades resulting in a disparate series of partially connected buildings. The architect’s master plan yielded a multiphase design that stitched the buildings together with a new three-story South Wing.  An interior courtyard was created to serve as the new heart of the campus, providing daylighting and interior views from the new common areas and classrooms. The existing buildings were retrofitted with new mechanical and fire suppression systems and the site’s stormwater design upgraded from its nonexistent mid-century state.

The client's program called for an expansion that would provide contiguous interior circulation between existing and new campus buildings.  The new South wing adjoins existing buildings by way of 3 new circulation zones called the North, East and West Connectors.  In addition to negotiating 3 different existing finished floor elevations, each connector strives to be much more than a corridor.  Here, the ramped connector is flooded with daylight and provides views into the new courtyard.

Through the master planning process, it was determined that the school’s main entrance should be moved to the new South Wing.  Responding to the southerly orientation, the fenestration on the second and third floors is tall and narrow. The floor plates cantilever out over the first floor and provide shade for the on-grade classroom and admin spaces

The South Commons is the front porch for the newly renovated campus.  The double height space visually connects the new public and administrative areas on the ground floor with classrooms and student study rooms on the second floor.  The new courtyard at the heart of the campus is revealed through gracious curtain wall that is on axis with the South Entrance.