Interior shot of Johnston High's cafeteria in Johnston, Iowa
Inside the gymnasium at Johnston High School
Interior image of Johnston High's staircase in Johnston Iowa
Interior image of Johnston High's performing arts center's auditorium seating in Johnston Iowa

Johnston High School

Johnston, Iowa

356,756 GSF

Johnston High School was necessitated by a growth of 2,431 students in its district since 2000. With over a $72 million budget for this facility, it is currently the largest high school in Iowa serving up to 1,800 students in grades 10-12. This Johnston Community Schools’ facility is well-equipped with cutting-edge classrooms with retractable walls to combine two classrooms, promoting cross-discipline learning and productive groupwork. The school also features a 1,200-seat auditorium for the performing arts.


  • Selected to receive the Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy and MidAmerian Energy Company’s Excellence in Energy Efficient Design award based on 61% kBTU savings when compared to the program baseline.
  • 2019 ACEC Engineering Excellence Honor Award and Best in Category (Energy) winner.
  • The building is conditioned using displacement ventilation with the exception of the administration and athletic department wings, which utilizes a water-cooled variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system.
  • A geothermal bore field is used to transfer heating to and from the earth as part of the building conditioning process.
  • The entire building includes an automated fire suppression system, including a wet-pipe sprinkler system.
  • The facility was provided with a complete voice/data communications structured wiring system, including telecommunications spaces and pathways, equipment racks and cabinets, telecommunications cables, termination hardware, cable management hardware, and telecommunications jacks.
  • Electronic security system provisions for this project include; access control and video surveillance at selected areas, head-end equipment upgrades and/or consolidation, and integration with existing district-wide access control and video management system.
  • Each classroom and conference room is provided with an Extron Digital PlenumVault system with four inputs. In addition to the PlenumVault system each room was provided with an HD projector.

Photography credit: Kessler Photography

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