In 2009, CTA completed feasibility and planning studies for Broadwater and McKinley Elementaries, both historic Billings schools. Staff then spent evenings and weekends pounding the streets in support of the “YES for Kids” bond needed to fund the educational improvements. Throughout this nearly seven-year process, the team came to be intimately familiar with the facilities and site.
Ultimately, CTA provided expertise in historic renovation and architecture; structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering; landscape architecture; educational planning; and interior design services. The team worked in close concert with Billings School District #2, parent and community groups, construction managers, and other subcontractors.
The crux of the design for both schools was finding balance between history and efficiency, preserving their unique antiquity while enhancing sustainability and establishing dynamic learning spaces. The solutions lay within the tenets of 21st Century Learning. The floors are anchored by a commons area operating as breakout or mess-making spaces. Flexible furniture and fixtures create abundant opportunity to transform learning spaces to cater to teachers and students. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles were also integrated into the entire design, focusing on connections and open, bright, and transparent spaces. This also influenced new main entrances, providing accessibility and visibility while complementing the existing aesthetic of the façade.