North Kansas City School District Selects BNIM for North Kansas City High School

The $60M Renovation and Expansion Will Update Northtown

Kansas City, Mo. (June 6, 2016) — BNIM has been selected to design the $60-million renovation and expansion of North Kansas City High School, often referred to as Northtown, for the North Kansas City School District. The 90-year-old school is highly revered by the district and community, and will be updated in order to better harmonize with the district’s innovative educational practices.

To create a transformational, educational experience for the next generation, the new North Kansas City High School will be deeply rooted in pedagogy, flexibility, and sustainability. Space changes will reflect these attributes through an increase in accessibility, and community and gathering space. The school will also receive large-scale infrastructural updates and equitable facilities in comparison with other district high schools.

Northtown has a rich history, strong community identity, and exemplary academic performance — and the project will capitalize on these aspects. The school will also nurture its proximal relationship with North Kansas City by serving as a continual community asset for residents and guests alike. The reimagined vision is to transition the school into a hub of learning and community activity that will continue to support the educational aspirations of North Kansas City Schools.

The North Kansas City School District values BNIM’s human-purposed integrated design approach and commitment to creating sustainable, transformative environments. The firm and team of consultants — ATS&R; Henderson Engineering; Walter P. Moore; FP&C Consultants; and Montgomery Hoffman Associates — are committed to creating an innovative and sustainable learning environment where students and educators will thrive and, as the district expresses, “Honor tradition with an eye on the future.”

The district will ask for a $114-million no tax increase bond to support the project. These funds will be distributed across the school district, with $60 million allocated to Northtown. The BNIM team will continue to work on programming and schematic design leading up to the vote on August 2.

"This is a legacy project for BNIM,” says Steve McDowell, Principal and Director of Design. “We’re excited for the opportunity to provide an environment for the school to thrive for another 90+ years.”

BNIM has a longstanding history with the district. Principal Emeritus Bob Berkebile and Principal Maria Maffry are graduates of Northtown, and Principal Emeritus Tom Nelson worked on a number of projects in the 1960s with the legendary superintendent Dr. R.B. Doolin.

About BNIM

BNIM is one of the most important design firms working to redefine practice and building performance in architecture today. As early pioneers of sustainability in the building industry, BNIM continues to shape the national and global design conversation on design excellence and delivering transformational results for clients. The firm received the 2011 AIA National Architecture Firm Award for their work. Established in 1970, the firm has emerged as a leading resource for out-of-the-box methodologies, innovative technologies and cutting-edge research in the fields of architecture, planning, landscape, education and workplace design. The firm has offices in Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; and Des Moines, Iowa; and is incubating offices in Washington, DC and Madison, Wis. For more information visit