Niwot High School Addition and Renovation

A reimagined space serves as the school’s community hub, while introducing a new paradigm for the school’s learning media center.

34,000 SF


Niwot, CO

St Vrain Valley School District

The renovation to Niwot High School transforms an aging building lacking clarity and daylight into a bright, functional home for the school’s exemplary academic and extra-curricular programming. Part of a masterplan developed by AMD, the completed renovation encompasses high priority projects within a bond-funded budget. The project includes significant entry, commons, media center, library and classroom renovations that create a seamless experience defined by connections to student life and work. New auditorium seating, lighting, and flooring supports the school’s lauded fine arts program.

Throughout the design process, the masterplan and vision goals reiterated the importance of creating a “heart” of the school, imagined as a place for students to learn and grow while serving student groups and the community after-hours. The reimagining of the existing library on the lower level in concert with a commons space that mediates between the lower and upper level creates this heart. A destination for social learning through varied media, encounters, and platforms, the library and commons space provide spaces for socializing, academic collaboration, and focused study. 

The diverse network of spaces supports the school’s atmosphere of trust and respect, in which students are encouraged to take initiative with their personal and collaborative projects. Students can find and claim different spaces ranging from large and active to small and focused. Resources such as projectors and whiteboards are provided in the commons, supporting mobility and flexibility. Color, daylighting devices, and technology create vibrant spaces that facilitate the school’s academic and community-focused outcomes.

Create an academic and social ‘heart’ for the school, one that connected the entry, the cafeteria, and the Media Center into one continuous, luminous volume.

The new Academic Commons provides a variety of spaces for student collaboration and socialization, including the Media Center and Maker Space, all while establishing an overall sense of place and integration.

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