• Flathead High School Expansion
  • Flathead High School Expansion
  • Flathead High School Expansion
  • Flathead High School Expansion
  • Flathead High School Expansion
  • Flathead High School Expansion
  • Flathead High School Expansion

Flathead High School Expansion

In 2015, the Kalispell School District put forth two bond requests—one for the elementary district and one for the high school district—in response to rising enrollment, overcapacity and aging facilities. These bonds requested funding to address issues at every building in the district—five of the elementary schools (Edgerton, Hedges, Russell, Peterson and Elrod) as well as all high school buildings (Flathead High School, the H.E. Robinson Agricultural Education Center, Linderman Education Center and Glacier High School). The two requests represented the largest combined ballot request in the history of the Kalispell School District 5, and would bring all schools up to code, safety and security standards and build a new elementary school to solve overcrowding in the district.

Both bond measures passed, and Morrison-Maierle put together a qualifications package, which led to them being selected to serve as the prime design consultant and the engineering team for the long-term facility planning process. As the prime consultant, Morrison-Maierle was tasked with recommending an architectural firm—a unique turn of events as typically engineers are hired by architects for school building projects.

Flathead High School was designed in 1926. After holding meetings, listening to stakeholders and knowing that building a new school was out of the question since the bond had to cover several renovation projects, Morrison-Maierle decided that in order to meet their client’s goals for improved flow and more space, they would demolish the old, small gym, the “half-floor” classrooms and lecture hall and create a new gym, locker rooms, eight new classrooms, class room breakout spaces, restrooms, and other renovation work. .

After taking many things into consideration during the design phase, Morrison-Maierle’s solution was to design the addition as a free-standing, isolated building that is completely separated from the main building. As a result, the new and existing buildings are isolated from one another with a 10-inch gap between them to allow for seismic shift and fire protection, two major hurdles for an existing building that wasn’t capable of supporting a new structure.
The team completed this project in time for the beginning of the school year and $900,000 under budget.