New Concepts Create Niagara Falls High School
Over the Labor Day weekend, a novel educational experiment is being unveiled in Niagara Falls, New York. The community's new high school could well become a trendsetter for public schools in the United States.
The technology built into the school promises to make it a world-class educational facility. And a unique partnership with The Honeywell Corporation has given the economically challenged city a new school without a tax increase.
The building was designed by The Hillier Group with inspiration from the power and natural beauty of the famous nearby falls. The 400,300-square-foot (37,200-square-meter), $64 million Niagara Falls High School is the first privately financed, privately managed school construction project completed in New York. The new school replaces two aging high schools and incorporates the latest in technological advancements.
Created through an innovative public-private partnership among the City of Niagara Falls, The Hillier Group and Honeywell, the school is designed to be a technological statement for the 21st Century and a civic centerpiece for local citizens.
The Hillier Group's Jorge Luaces, AIA, was inspired by the energy and natural beauty of Niagara Falls. Reflecting on the rushing water shooting through lateral conduits tunneled beneath the site, he designed a school with natural tones of tan and brown to represent the earth and blue accents to reflect the ever-present mist of water.
The complex consists of four, four-story academic houses, or "schools-within-a-school." Each will house 600 students from all four grades, and will provide small-group concentration on the basic academic disciplines of math, science, social studies, English, and foreign languages.
The new Niagara Falls High School opens this fall with state-of-the-art technology for the students and a public/private funding strategy for the taxpayers.
Photo: The Hillier Group
Niagara Falls lies on the border between the United States and Canada. Its power and beauty served as design inspiration for the new high school.
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