In 2004 Ken Small’s firm was selected by a jury selection system of the Clark County School District to be the architect for the phased replacement of Jacob E. Manch elementary School. The old school had been built under the main take off path of the main runway of the local US Air Force Base. Faculty recollection said that the oldest remaining construction on campus was near the end of world war two. The newest building was built about 12 years prior during an era of very poor design requirements, windowless and previously mold contaminated by careless use of irrigation it was not salvageable.
After a complete analysis of the buildings and the campus the architectural and engineering team was directed to save three buildings. Two of which were completely gutted.
The architects were also directed to design the building so that the school could be replaces while still occupied and utilized as a school.
Facing the list of challenges above and many more Ken Small and his team were able to design a “Green Building” utilizing 100% naturally lit classrooms and 100% naturally lit 2 of the 3 salvaged buildings. This building was designed under the criteria of a LEED silver building but the client did not fund the LEED qualification process. So this school will run with the electric lights OFF. There are over 500 skylights and many windows that provide the lighting. The school is the only one in the western US built of SIPs (structural insulted panels). This was done for insulation and acoustic purposes. We can’t publish the plan but if we could you would see many plan innovations also. This school has a long list of challenges which the architects designed the building to help with. The building was designed to operate under a normal class schedule under external security "Lock Down" resulting from almost anything happing outside the school. Internal security issues such as avoidance of personal safety concerns for the kids while they are in school also dictated much of the design program. We believe that nothing in school is more important than the personal safety of the kids. We did our best to allow the kids to forget safety concerns and concentrate on learning.
This school opened on the first day of the 2009-2010 school year.