In September, the rapidly growing Bondurant-Farrar Community School District opened up a new junior high school for students in grades 7 and 8. Story Construction served the district once again as its construction manager, having also served as CM for the high school additions in 2018, the Morris Elementary additions in 2019, and middle school renovations in 2020.
Voters in the school district passed a $23 million bond issue in September 2020 for the new junior high school and an earthwork package was released ahead of winter that year.
“The placement and orientation of the new junior high school was the biggest design challenge,” said Thad Long, Vice President at SVPA Architects. “Early on there was a desire to connect the high school and junior high, which was a challenge because of existing storm water and drainage directly north of the high school. We ultimately evaluated the entire complex including 60 acres directly east of the high school and junior high site as a master plan, including future athletic fields.”
The new 107,000 SF school includes a commons area, main offices, media center, classrooms, industrial technology space, outdoor classroom space, a competition gymnasium, athletics support spaces, a green room for digital media, teacher support space, science rooms, plus family and consumer science rooms.
“The new building allows for our teachers’ room assignments to be department aligned, with core staff located together based on the subject taught,” said Bondurant-Farrar Junior High School principal Jeremiah Ostrem. “Departments can easily touch base throughout the day to better provide instruction to our students. Breakout rooms allow staff to facilitate one-on-one instruction, collaborative group work, and offer a quiet place for focused student learning. The junior high also provides separate collaborative spaces for teachers and other staff to meet. In these areas, teachers are able to better focus on lesson planning, assessment, and student work analysis.”
The design also focused on providing plenty of natural daylight in the classrooms and commons, and where internal rooms occur, provide internal windows for borrowed light. The team chose to make the junior high school distinct through the selection of exterior building materials, yet complimentary to the high school with light colored metal panels that highlight the building entrances which tie the two buildings together.
Through the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated building material challenges, Story’s Construction Production 2.0 system and experience with the district played a key role in completing this project for the start of school.
“Story Construction has a good system in place, no doubt. However, it is the people on Story’s team that are the real difference makers. The years of positive relationships and earned trust are what sets Story apart, in my opinion.” – Dr. Rich Powers, Bondurant-Farrar Community School District Superintendent
The new junior high school allows the district to address the need for increased capacity due to enrollment growth, with a final capacity of around 600 students. The junior high opens this year with an enrollment of around 450.
With the opening of this additional building, the Bondurant-Farrar Middle School shifts from serving grades 6-8 to only grades 5-6, alleviating capacity strains at Anderson Elementary as well.
- 325,800 lbs of steel
- 82,150 masonry brick pieces
- 111,500 concrete block pieces
- 6,810 SF of exterior glass
- 3,420 SF of interior glass
- 6,951 cubic yards of concrete (595 truck loads)
Delivery: Construction Manager as Agent
Designer: SVPA Architects
Project Manager: Clint Jensen
Assistant Project Manager: Brian Weber
Superintendents: Dale Hofert; Josh Hoover