The Pre-K-12 Cherokee Central Schools Campus encompasses a total of 473,000 SF including a new Pre-K-5 elementary school, middle school, and high school in addition to a state-of-the-art 1100-seat performing arts facility. The project also boasts an athletic complex which includes a 1600-seat sports arena and a 3500-seat football stadium. All ages of students are housed on one campus to foster a sense of community and the sharing of tribal knowledge. The 144-acre tract of land, obtained through a land exchange with the National Parks Service, forms a bridge from the north to the south sides of the Cherokee Reservation.
Native patterns are integrated into the design of the façade, floors, and windows to tie the educational environment to the larger context of Cherokee culture and society. The Campus’s sustainable focus, as well as its proximity to National Park Service wetlands and historic Cherokee archaeological sites, are integrated into the student curriculum and serve to support the Cherokees’ long tradition of being stewards of the land. This dedication to environmental responsibility is demonstrated by the project’s LEED Silver certification.