Warren County (Ky.) Public Schools is a growing district, adding two to three hundred students per year to the already sizeable district of 13,000 students. With an influx of refugee students and several large industries attracting families, Warren County is no stranger to overcrowding issues. The district has been tackling the problem by adding seven schools over the last 10 years. South Warren Middle and High School, which opened its doors to students August 3, has the distinction of being the largest school in Kentucky and the largest insulated concrete form (ICF) building in the nation.
The $67 million building, consisting of 334,000 square feet across seven acres, is home to 750 high school and 459 middle school students. Its shape, says Joanie Hendricks, public relations coordinator at Warren County Public Schools, is that of a boomerang. To maintain separate identities, the middle school is on one side and the high school on the other. The school was paid for with voter approved bonds.
RM Education An architectural rendering of South Warren's media center. The newly opened South Warren (Ky.) Middle and High School is is the largest insulated concrete form building in the nation.
"The new school has alleviated the crowding issue and cleared up the hallways in the older schools," says Tim Murley, Warren County Public Schools superintendent.
An ICF building is one that is constructed of Lego-looking blocks filled with concrete and that provide triple the amount of insulation of most buildings.
"We are quite proud we are going as green as we can, but even more proud we can provide quality buildings for our students," says Murley.
Moreover, says Hendricks, reviews from the students at South Warren Middle and High School have all been positive. "The kids get really excited about being in a new building and being the first to use the desks and lockers."
Next up, the district will open an elementary school equipped with solar panels in mid-October. It will be a netzero- energy school, which means it will produce as much energy as it consumes.