Design firm Cushing Terrell debuted the new Gallatin High School in Bozeman, Montana. The school was designed around the concept of a town center—a place where people come together for various purposes aligned with creating a unified, supportive, interactive community.
Central to the design is the ‘commons’ where students and staff gather for assemblies, speakers, small group meetings, and individual study time. The grand staircase offers a ‘wow’ factor but is also functional with a coffee bar and café tucked beneath.
The team infused the design with the ideas of cross-pollination and discovery, creating greater visibility into other learning areas to spur interest in trying something new. Incorporating wider hallways and natural light support a learning environment that feels accessible and full of opportunity.
Rather than spreading the 27,871-m2 (300,000-sf) school across two levels, the team designed a more compact solution: a combination of stacked one-, two-, and three-story wings. This layout helps reduce travel distances from one side of the school to the other, creates opportunities for key spaces to make physical and visual connections to the commons, and enhances efficiency in the building’s footprint, systems, and energy use. These factors combined with an irrigation system designed to high water-efficiency standards resulted in the project meeting collaborative for high performing schools (CHPS) design standards.
The 28-ha (70-acre) site comprises athletic fields, trail system, and parking areas, plus competition track, softball field, and tennis courts.
In addition to architectural design, Cushing Terrell provided other services for the approximately $93-million project including interior design, engineering, and landscape.
TD&H Engineering was the civil engineer on the project. The structural engineer was DCI Engineers and Big Sky Acoustics was the acoustical engineer.