Bigfork High School Renovation and Expansion, Montana Building, American Architecture Images
Bigfork High School Renovation and Expansion, Montana
Apr 22, 2020
Bigfork High School
Architects: Cushing Terrell
Location: Bigfork, Montana, USA
Exemplifying a balance of form and function, the Bigfork High School remodel and expansion was driven by the existing site’s unique opportunities, characteristics, and systems. Proper planning, scheduling, budgeting, and careful coordination between design and construction allowed for the school to remain operational with minimal disruption to teaching and learning.
In the completed project, a centralized “commons” area is the focal point of design, allowing space for congregation and event spillover, as well as serving as a central access point to new areas like the library, choir/band complex, expanded gym, student store, guidance counselor suite, and additional classrooms.
The Cushing Terrell team partnered closely with Bigfork School District and community members through successful pre-bond planning and bond promotion, design, and construction administration. The building itself was both durable and resilient with structural components and masonry that had stood for 50 years and deserved to live at least that much longer again.
Of the existing 48,500 sq. ft. high school, 7,000 sq. ft. was selectively demolished. The remaining 41,500 sq. ft. was abated, remodeled, and expanded by another 36,000 sq. ft. For the first time in over 60 years of remodels and additions, every door hardware set, wall and floor finish, glazing system, and roof is of the same type, vintage, and style.
The opportunity the district had before them included maintaining a unified campus where their entire district resided on a single site with a rare adjacency to the largest natural body of fresh water west of the Mississippi River. The effort resulted in increased capacity while preserving open space that provides for outdoor learning with expansive views of Flathead Lake.
Safety and security were also paramount. A number of “front doors” were simplified to one, and the relocation of the administration adjacent to an enlarged commons not only serves as the unifying heart of the building’s plan but provides for visibility and access control.
The commons creates a place to gather after events and to eat lunch, while also organizing the new library, choir and band complex, expanded gymnasium and weight training facility, and the classroom core. New programming also positioned around the commons includes the community room, student store, an a la carte area that is convertible into concessions, a new warming kitchen and serving area, and a guidance counselor suite.
Exemplifying the balance of form and function, the Bigfork High School remodel and expansion was driven by the opportunities and unique characteristics of the existing site, building, and systems. Proper planning, coordination between design and construction, scheduling, budgeting, and choreography of the trades allowed for the school to remain operational with minimal disruption to teaching and learning.
Bigfork High School in Montana – Building Information
Architecture: Cushing Terrell
High School Building: 77,760 sq. ft.
Bus Barn: 5,200 sq. ft.
Lot size: 32.52 acres
Cushing Terrell Project Team
Architecture: Cushing Terrell
Interior Design: Cushing Terrell
Structural Engineer: Cushing Terrell
Mechanical Engineer: Cushing Terrell
Electrical Engineer: Cushing Terrell
Landscape Architect: Cushing Terrell
Big Sky Acoustics, LLC
H-C Design & Consulting, LLC
TD&H Engineering, Inc.
Cushing Terrell Construction & Environmental, LLC
EAN Services, LLC
Steel Encounters, Inc.
Exclusive Finishes, Inc.
* Cushing Terrell Team Names/Roles
Shane Jacobs, T
Alan Petersen – Architect
Frances Quiram – Architect
Frederick Dickinson – Architect
Casey O’Harren T– Architect in Training
Trent Schwartzkopf, – CADD Tech
Sawyer Arneson-Nelson – CADD Tech,
Alan Taylor T, – CADD Tech
Scott Galli, – CADD Tech
Michael Kaufman, – CADD Tech,
David Koel – Design Professional
Shawn Pauly – Design Professional
Corey Johnson, Education VM Leader/Architect
David Mitchell, Government VM Leader/Project Manager/Architect
Robbie Mathiason, Administrative Assistant
Catherine Jakes T – Interior Designer
Madeline Rajtar, Interior Designer
Erika Wurtele, Interior Designer
Structural Engineer: Zachary Diede, Structural Engineer Sr
Richard Baars T,- Mechanical Designer
Jeremy Wilson, Mechanical Designer
Eric Ransom, Mechanical Designer
Ronald McLean III, Mechanical Designer
Gerry Nichols-Pagel, Mechanical Engineer
Nathan Ratz, Mechanical Engineer
Spencer Shepard, Mechanical Engineer
Deanna Lindsley – Electrical Designer
Carl Maehl,- Electrical Engineer
Ezra Williams T- Landscape Architect
Meghan McMahon T, Landscape Architect
Steven Bingham, Fire Protection Engineer
Ryan Markuson, Senior Tech
Kaleb Mitchell T, Intern
Photographer: Heidi Long
Bigfork High School Renovation and Expansion, Montana images / information received 220420
Location: BigforkBigfork, Montana, USA
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