Schematic designs for a two-story expansion at Cape High were approved by the school board Oct. 25.
Architect Bryan Williams of ABHA Architects said the expansion will run parallel to Kings Highway and blend with the mansard roof and stone-and-brick facade of the original building.
“We wanted to maintain the relationship with the existing building and didn’t want to put something directly in front of the school you love so much,” Williams said.
Two, two-level corridors will link the original building to the expansion, creating an outdoor courtyard between them. One first-level corridor will have gated doors to allow large equipment to enter the courtyard and provide fresh air to students walking between buildings.
“A commons area is almost a necessity in education, not just in elementary schools but at the high school level, too,” Williams said.
More than a landscaped courtyard, the learning commons will provide space for outdoor lessons and activities, Williams said, and will not be visible from Kings Highway.
The two new floors will add 20 or 21 classrooms, depending on costs; four consortium classrooms and a consortium life skills room. A theater-style lecture hall will occupy a first-floor half-circle rotunda close to the school’s main entrance; the second-floor half-circle will be a learning commons with adjacent seminar space.
A rooftop skylight will provide natural light to an open, two-story commons area in the middle of the expansion.
Director of Capital Projects Brian Bassett said plans also call for a rooftop classroom surrounded by guardrails atop the half-circle rotunda. Cafeteria and food-preparation areas will be expanded to handle the increased number of students the new wing is designed for.
ABHA Architects was awarded the design contract in July. Richard Y. Johnson & Sons Inc. will oversee construction management.
Plans are on the district website.