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Saydel CSD High School Renovations

The Saydel Community School District wanted to refresh its high school weight room and practice gymnasium. Funded by a bond referendum, this renovation realized their vision centered around the ideas of activity and wellness.

Wellness Components. Existing space limitations initially posed a challenge, leading members of the board and administration to assume that a costly addition would be necessary to house an expanded weight training and new cardiovascular training areas. A space utilization analysis revealed that underutilized spaces in the existing high school administrative areas, computer lab and practice gymnasium could be reorganized and reclaimed to make room for the expanded weight training and new cardiovascular training areas. This analysis not only saved the district thousands of dollars of new construction costs, it also saved on future heating and cooling costs.

Entry Improvements. Multiple additions and renovations to Saydel High School over the past several decades had resulted in a strange circumstance, where the set of west doors (originally intended as a secondary entrance) became the primary entrance to the high school. This was not only confusing to visitors of the school as to “where is the front door,” but also presented major security problems as school administrators had no control over the flow of visitors in and out of the building. The challenge to creating a sense of entry for the high school was working with only a narrow strip between the existing building and the parking lot. The solution was a to create a minimal, yet distinct entry canopy with lit banner flags, signage and an accent retaining wall with landscaping. Security was greatly improved by moving the administrative offices to the space directly adjacent to the front entrance (formerly the weight room), punching large windows for vision to the parking lot, and modification to the vestibule doors to funnel visitors through the administrative offices before gaining access to the rest of the building.


Des Moines, Iowa


29,000 SF Renovation

Design Team:

Sam Stagg