Kearney High School is designed to facilitate the delivery of curriculum and programming using the “Small Learning Community” (SLC) instructional delivery format. All of the SLC’s are focused towards the career fields and cluster model as developed by the Nebraska Career Education. Core classes are distributed throughout each SLC to encourage greater collaboration between core classes and career focused projects and problem solving. Each SLC is united by a common circulation pathway which leads to the large assembly and gathering spaces such as the Concert Hall and Theater, the Cafeteria/Commons and the Athletic Venues. The building layout is designed to provide natural daylighting to as many instructional spaces as possible and provide for separation between the academic focused part of the building and the more public and community focused part of the building. The entire building is heated and cooled using an open loop geothermal wellfield system.
All high school facilities are important to not only the lives of the students and staff, but also to the community as a whole. The new Kearney High School provides the very best and most modern of these community spaces. Most notably, the Concert Hall and Theater, which is only the second of its kind in the world, can transform from a concert hall format into a drama theater format in less than 30 minutes through the use of operable proscenium walls and a moveable eyebrow reflector which creates the top of the proscenium opening. All of the athletic venues are truly unique in that they are all top loading in terms of spectator access. Top loading the Main Competition Gymnasium, the Auxiliary Gymnasium, the Natatorium and the Stadium enables all of the athletes, coaches, and officials to safely travel from their locker rooms to the venues without crossing traffic with the spectators. The top loading design also facilities a center amenities core featuring the concession stand and restrooms.
The stadium and athletic field venue is nearly unparalleled in the Midwest. The stadium and athletic fields, which are designed to host collegiate competition and is used by the University of Nebraska at Kearney outdoor track and field team, features seating for 2,508, a synthetic turf multi-sport infield, 8 lane track, runways for pole vault, long jump, triple jump, 2 competition shot put sectors, 3 practice shot put sectors, 4 cages for competition discus and hammer throw events, 2 practice sectors for discus and a javelin runway and sector. In addition there are three practice fields for football and soccer and the master plan includes 8 tennis courts, 2 softball fields and a baseball field