West Ada is the largest school district in the state of Idaho, and like any other district, its student population includes children with severe developmental and physical disabilities who require individual education plans and one-on-one attention. At Meridian High School, those children are taught in a house near the school that had no handicap accessibility or other necessary features for students with special needs. With the help of CSHQA, the home is now fully ADA compliant and renovated to accommodate more children and facilitate learning.
While the district originally only planned to renovate the house, when the teachers and administrators spoke with CSHQA, they determined an expansion would be ideal. CSHQA provided architectural and interior design of the 1,900-square-foot facility, which was expanded to 5,341-square-feet. This allowed the district to add elementary and middle school students—an increase of about 30 children. To tackle this challenge, CSHQA designed the building in five sections: a classroom area with three pods separated by age; a multi-purpose area for feeding, games, and exercise; and a faculty and staff area with isolation rooms. The house includes a mock bedroom for life skills activities, and the kitchen area is equipped to allow students to practice cooking skills.
The exterior site areas are laid out to safely serve each of the three teaching pods. The architectural forms, materials, and colors were selected to maintain a residential feel and presentation onto Pine Street, while the new construction on the back side is designed to fit with the Meridian High School color and material scheme with a few modern touches. All utilities at the house were upgraded as well, including the lawn irrigation system.