The New Track for Dallas County’s Buffalo High School is the first step of implementing a much larger master plan. The master planning process identified and prioritized the needs of the district through a series of field investigations, interviews and community input. It soon became clear that the two highest priorities are the track and the technical center. The existing track is a “red dog” dirt track that is only functional for practice in the driest weather and totally non-servicable for official events of any kind. The Technical Center is currently located in Louisburg, MO, nine miles north of Buffalo. This location limits choice for Buffalo students due to the travel time and bussing schedules involved in running back and forth between the two campuses. The tech center is currently housed in a former K-12 building in dire need of replacement due to age and settlement of the foundations.
Therefore, it soon became clear that both projects would ideally be located immediately adjacent to the existing high school. This posed a serious challenge given the very limited site area available. Since the existing high school is still located close to the town center, acquiring additional property for construction was too difficulty and costly an option. Thus a solution had to be found which would allow both projects to occupy the existing western portion of the site.
The district was able to vacate several existing outbuildings for the bus barn, storage and maintenance personal out to its district central office, freeing up some acreage. This portion of the site slope between 5 - 12% to Spruce street along the western property line. In order to save costs, the track had to be reshaped to limit grading, allow reuse of the existing bleachers and resolve existing stormwater issues. It was important to the district that the new technical center connect directly to the existing high school for security and convenience. The final “stadium view” scheme orients the new tech center as an east-west bar across the north end of the new track as a backdrop for the reimagined athletics space. The building utilizes the slope of the site to allow ADA access from a north parking area under the new second floor of the tech center to the track which is set at first floor level. The entrance for the tech center itself is elevated on a plinth. It has a series of steps and ramps down to Spruce for bus pickup and visitors separated from the rest of the high school traffic. The master plan also anticipates the addition of a future athletics building overlooking the track near its northeast corner to complete the re- visioning.