Ignacio School District previously had below-standard performance rates, a lack of space for certain educational programs, and was losing students and staff to neighboring schools. To counteract these things, the client desired 21st Century Educational Environments that support academic excellence, a promoted sense of community, district-wide student safety and security, and an increase in educational programs. The renovation and expansion of Ignacio High School was the last phase of a comprehensive, district-wide Master Plan.
A Master Plan Committee and a Design Advisory Group consisting of community members, designers, school staff, students, parents, and teachers came together to help design this school. An important part of the planning process was an RTA-led program called “Through the Lens.” This program is a joint educational venture in which students are taught about photography and, in turn, their photographs of the community influence the architectural design of their school.
Ignacio High School was created from combining the existing junior high and high school buildings into one unified campus. The school is designed around a three-sided courtyard which is the heart of the school and campus. Classrooms wrap a flex area that offers opportunities for small groups, individual learning and larger student gatherings. A new office addition creates a controlled building entry and serves to unite and organize the plan. A strong sense of the unique community heritage is reinforced with modern images inspired by Southern Ute costume and ceremony.