Blue Valley Southwest High School

Distinguished Building Award Submission

Blue Valley Southwest is a 300,000 square foot high school serving 1,600 students on a 112 acre site in Overland Park, Kansas. The plan is organized around a courtyard, with all common spaces: theater lobby, administration, cafeteria, library, and cyber cafe opening directly onto this central space. At the heart of the academic zone is the media center and a distributed administrative suite which connects the outstretched wings of classrooms to the rest of the school. The school incorporates a below- floor, displaced air delivery system with improved indoor air quality and thermal comfort using less energy to deliver conditioned air. The building features generous natural day lighting, indirect lighting with higher ceilings, and daylight sensors. The building uses locally produced materials such as Kansas brick and limestone. The building was sited with careful attention to solar orientation to minimize heat gain yet maximize views. The scale of a large high school is reduced by a massing strategy that houses the program in distinct pavilions situated around the courtyard. Each pavilion has an identity symbolized by the shapes of the roofs: the library with a butterfly roof, the cafeteria with a gentle gable, and the theater with a single pitch.

Perkins + Will
Associate Architect
Horst, Terrill & Karst Architects
Blue Valley Southwest High School
  • Acoustical Design Group, Inc.
  • Larson Binkley, Inc.
  • Richard Clayton Barrett Landscape Architecture
  • Shafer, Kline & Warren, Inc.
  • Structural Engineering Associates
General contractor
Crossland Construction Company Inc.
Overland Park, Kansas