Letcher County High School and Athletic ComplexLetcher County Board of Education · Whitesburg, Kentucky
The new high school consolidated three existing high schools into one new state-of-the-art high school to more effectively offer a full curriculum of programs.
The New Symbol of Letcher County Schools
The first new school in over 20 years, Letcher County High School is the new symbol of Letcher County Schools.
The new high school consolidated three existing high schools into one new state-of-the-art high school to more effectively offer a full curriculum of programs that three smaller high schools could not. Recent KERA test scores demonstrate this success.
Sherman Carter Barnhart master planned the school to support the “school to real world” educational philosophy by bringing together the comprehensive core subjects and traditional vocational programs under one roof. This design provides student career based instruction while demonstrating how their traditional academic subjects like math, english and science apply to real world careers.
Sherman Carter Barnhart Site Studio working with the education studio master planned this former mine site to accommodate the 150,000 SF high school and numerous ahletic facilities (implemented in phases) to support the high school. The 75-acre site presented a variety of challenges including over 300 feet of grade change across the site. The design Incorporated terraces cut into the hillside with the school centrally. The football stadium completed along with the school in 2005 was incorporated into a hillside with the synthetic turf football field located 33 feet below the school. The baseball field and concessions completed in 2008
are constructed over 50 feet below the school. The softball, tennis and golf practice will be located adjacent to the Vocational school completed in 2012 on a level 20 feet above the school. The final phase of the athletic complex will be the soccer field and synthetic rubber surface 400 meter track and all field events to be located 180 feet above the school. The challenges of the site topography present additional challenges for the implementation of the storm water system that has been partially installed and is expanded with each phase of the construction. The mine spoils site presented an opportunity to design and construct a unique drainage system for the synthetic turf football field. This system captures all the surface water to prevent saturation of the deep spoils on the site.
In addition, to the challenging site, designers were faced with a very tight budget. Sherman Carter Barnhart designed a very functional plan that kept the cost at just a little over $100 a square foot. (2005)