Liberty Center Local Schools
Liberty Center Local Schools
Liberty Center K-12 School, located in Liberty Center, Ohio is a two-story, 158,173 sf building for approximately 1,100 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade that was designed by Garmann/Miller Architects-Engineers. From the time Liberty Center passed their bond issue for a new school building in 2014, Garmann/Miller worked closely with the community, administration, and staff to form eight community sub-committees’ that provided valuable input to the design team on key factors that influenced the overall design of the site and building.
One essential component that was vital to the school district was taking elements from their past and incorporating them into the overall design of the building, as outlined by their historical subcommittee. Garmann/Miller was able to take exterior limestone elements from the 1953 existing building and integrate them as focal points in the two-story atrium inside the building. The school district also wanted to replicate several features from one of their school buildings that burnt down in the 1970’s. Garmann/Miller incorporated several architectural features of the traditional façade to successfully represent the past building look by using contemporary building materials and assemblies.
Another element that was especially important to Liberty Center was the development of a state-of-the-art auditeria. There was a strong sentiment in the school district that they needed to replicate their ‘Little Theater”, which was a 250-seat auditorium in their existing building that was set to be demolished. Working with the theater subcommittee, Garmann/Miller designed an auditeria that exceeded the school district’s expectations for fine arts performances, yet provided the school district with a very functional and efficient multi-purpose space that could be used daily for student dining and large-group meetings.
Maintaining appropriate grade-level separation in the building was also important to the school district. The Elementary School area is generally located on the southeast side of the building while the Middle School / High School area is located on the west and north side of the building. There is one central, secure entrance to the building that opens into two administrative offices, which support the Elementary School and Middle School / High School respectively. The central atrium / gathering space is centrally located between the auditeria, media center (which is perched on the second floor with visual connectivity into the atrium), two gymnasiums, and various support spaces. The atrium / gathering space is a hub for all types of academic, athletics, arts, and community functions.
Completed in 2018, the new K-12 school building is situated on a 35-acre site on the school district’s existing campus. In dealing with an existing site that needed to maintain normal daily operations of the school district, construction phasing was critical for the overall safety of students, staff and visitors and the success of the project. The existing campus, which also includes athletic practice and game fields, playgrounds, bus maintenance and storage building, and a portion of the existing school building which has been converted to District Offices, is bordered by residential neighborhoods.
With a focus on enhancing the environment for learning and minimizing building operating costs, the project includes sustainable features such as daylight glazing, a high efficiency HVAC system, outdoor learning labs, durable material selections, and water-efficient equipment and fixtures. The District’s investment in terrazzo floors and a standing seam metal roof will save them on maintenance costs for years to come. The building is currently expected to achieve Gold Certification in LEED for Schools v2009.