Waukee Community School District continues to be the fastest growing school district in Iowa, gaining an average of 500 new students each year for the last five years. A second high school is needed to accommodate the district’s rapid enrollment growth.

Waukee City Council and Waukee Community School District approved a 28e agreement in May of 2016, which will allow the city and district to share green space. A total of 160 acres of land north of Hickman Road and east of 10th Street in Waukee will be used to build a second high school and City of Waukee-owned sports complex. Approximately 2/3 of the land will include the new high school building, parking, track, four ball fields, practice fields and a pond. The City’s 1/3 portion of the property will include 12 softball/baseball fields and parking.

The concept for the new building was developed through an interactive process over the last six months between frk Architects & Engineers, district administration and a visioning committee comprised of parents, students, staff and community members. Feedback from the committee was used to create the conceptual layout which includes several collaborative learning spaces designed to support academic programming.

The three-story building is oriented on the site to maximize views of the academic areas to the pond, creates views to the main entry from the public access points and utilizes a single secure entry for both students, staff and visitors.

It is the third time in more than 40 years that an Iowa school district will open a high school. Ankeny’s Centennial High School opened in August 2013 and Iowa City’s Liberty High School opened this fall, 2017. 

With an expected opening year of 2021, students in the classes of 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025 could be the first to attend the second high school.

Second High School Site Plan December 2017GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Capacity: 1,800 Students with supporting staff
  • Building Area: Approximately 382,000 gross square feet
  • Site: Approximately 100 acres of a 160-acre joint development with the City of Waukee
  • Planned Opening: Fall, 2021
  • Location: Waukee, Iowa


  • The building layout utilizes a single secure entry vestibule for both students, staff, and visitors when school is in session.
    The entry, adjacent to the administration offices, opens into the two-story high central student commons area with views through the media center and onto the pond.
  • The major components of the building program are organized around and radiate from, the central student commons and access to all public areas like the auditorium, gymnasium, and the black-box theater are from this area. All of the academic spaces are linked through this space.
  • The two-story high commons space serves as the hub for all school activity and interaction and connects to the upper level with balconies that look over the space, and to the lower level through a large open stair.
  • A learning stair at the north end of the commons serves as a collaboration and presentation area and connects the two upper levels.
  • Bounding the north end of the commons, a two-story-high media center creates a visual connection to the outdoors. This glass-walled space opens to a roof terrace that provides outdoor seating areas with views to the pond. A second-floor mezzanine area in the media center provides additional seating.
  • Three-story academic wings flank each side of the media center and extend from the commons area, creating efficient and compact internal circulation.
  • Multiple individual and group areas are created throughout the building to encourage collaboration at student and staff levels.
    Professional office areas are distributed in the academic wings to create a teaming environment and maximize building utilization.
  • Gymnasium and auxiliary gym are adjacent and open to create one larger space with an operable wall. The gym seating is top load and enters at the main level with the gym floor level at the lower floor. A running track circles both the gym and auxiliary gym at the main level and serves as circulation from the gym seating.
  • Main Gymnasium Seating Capacity is 2500
  • Running track is three-lane
  • The auditorium seats 1000 including a second-floor balcony reducing the distance from stage to seating in order to enhance the audience experience. The facility has an orchestra pit and a full fly-loft stage.
  • The building is designed and oriented on the site to maximize views of the academic areas to the pond.
  • Separate one-story structures serve as the greenhouse, and concession and team rooms for the stadium.
    Principal exterior materials will consist of brick masonry, metal panels, and has ample aluminum windows and curtain wall to maximize natural light and views in the school.


  • The project site is approximately 100 acres of the 160-acre campus being jointly developed with the City of Waukee. The remaining portion of the site is being developed as a youth sports complex by the city.
  • The site is bounded to the north by Douglas Parkway which will be extended from the east. The western edge of the property is bounded by U-avenue and to the south by an extended NE Sunrise Drive.
  • The entire campus site will be sloped toward a central pond area that will act as the site’s and some regional storm-water detention.
  • There will be two main driveway entrances to the site. A drive access from Sunrise Drive to the south will serve buses and accessible parking for the building. A main drive access from U-Avenue to the west will enter the site with a public access circle and visitor parking. This drive will also access student, staff and event parking. Taking advantage of the natural slopes of the site, the new stadium will be set into the ground in a bowl-type setting giving the building’s entry more prominence when entering the campus.
  • Total school parking is approximately 1360 stalls.


  • Outdoor Athletic Facilities included in the Scope of the project include:
  • Football stadium, field, track, and service amenities in a bowl-type configuration.
  • (4) Practice fields.
  • (12) Tennis Courts with fencing and lighting.
  • (1) Competition Baseball and (1) Practice Baseball Field
  • (1) Competition Softball Field and (1) Practice Softball Field