The DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building

Mount Michael Benedictine High School

Elkhorn, NE

Estimated Completion – October 2017

Still Under Construction

Mount Michael Benedictine School is a Catholic preparatory high school with a boarding and day program located in Elkhorn, NE.  Mount Michael is a school deeply rooted in academics and faith.  BCDM was approached to design a new learning facility that looks to the future while respecting the school’s heritage and campus’ vernacular and context.

After careful analysis, the DJ Sokol Learning for Life Building was oriented across from and on axis with the existing chapel.  Precast concrete and brick were chosen for the exterior of the building to match the chapel.  Five precast arches with the Benedictine Values: Service, Community, Hospitality, Moderation, and Integrity inscribed in their face, guide students and visitors into the school.

The building has a strong emphasis on STEM learning spaces; science, math and engineering classrooms.  All rooms are in close proximity and make up the majority of the south wing. Technology labs and the library are visually connected to the main atrium near the front entry to create an open learning environment.  The second floor holds nine classrooms as well as additional restrooms.

The study hall functions as the school’s FEMA rated storm shelter in the north classroom wing. Creating a classroom building east of the existing school building accommodates a growing student population and creates a campus feel as students travel from the living quarters, commons areas and chapel on the east across a braided brick path and under the new arches to school each day.