Project DescriptionDuring a one-year program for 250 students, the school provides focused academic, military, and physical instruction to prepare, motivate and inspire candidates for success at the United States Military Academy.
EwingCole led the design of a new $140 million U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS) Campus. The 57-acre site on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point was selected for brownfield development on a wooded hillside that commands panoramic views of the Hudson River.
EwingCole examined at several site layout options to determine the best use of land and ways to capitalize on natural resources and views of the hills and valley, as well as maintain control over potentially significant site costs. Design charettes, massing and test fit studies, and cost benefit analyses were performed with regard to several land use options, evaluating criteria such as conformance to project schedule, availability of natural light and natural site features, sensitivity to existing topography, maintaining existing vegetation, rock outcroppings and other natural site structuring.
A series of land use strategies were determined by the project team, including:
• Providing a campus identity for USMAPS
• Designing a “Sequence of Events” from entry to arrival, including movement from space to space with managed views.
• Designing outdoor spaces of varied sizes to meet varied needs including assembly, outdoor classrooms, events & private study.
• Preservation of natural land formations, stream, woodland, and other primary natural resources. This represents the most significant sustainable opportunity for the site.
Sustainability was a key factor in the planning process, informing decisions about stormwater management, landscape plantings and irrigation systems, building positioning relative to sunlight exposure. With the exception of athletic fields, site irrigation does not use potable water. Instead, rainwater is collected by a below grade cistern for supplemental watering during drought conditions. Additionally, native, drought tolerant species of trees, shrubs and perennials are used for sustainable landscaping. Building placement, land development and construction procedures were all designed to minimize disturbance of the existing landfill.
Site planning considerations required using much of the usable site area for NCAA athletic and competition fields; the location and orientation of fields became a determining factor in the layout of the campus circulation and building locations.
Entry and arrival to USMAPS is reflective of a “sequence of events”, a series of views and varied exterior “rooms” experienced by those entering the site that lead clearly along a roadway towards headquarters. Outdoor athletics on the site include three new synthetic surface fields for football, lacrosse and soccer as well as a 400 meter, six-lane track surrounding the soccer field. Buildings are tied together enclosing a new entrance and courtyard. New structures include a residence hall for 250 students, a dining facility integrated with academic classrooms, a 330- seat lecture hall and administrative departments, an athletic training facility, and a 20,000 sf indoor practice facility adjacent to the athletic building featuring a 1,200 seat gymnasium. The buildings are positioned so that the headquarters building is seen as the centerpiece of the overall campus, flanked by the athletic facility and residences.
The facility was awarded LEED Gold Certification.
“The significance of this campus cannot be overstated. As the largest and most expensive construction project in recent history at West Point, it received significant interest from Congress and oversight from senior military and local leadership. The contractor understood the high profile nature of this project and worked extremely close with all parties throughout the process to ensure final design would exceed all expectations.
Even with the restrictions placed on funding, the architects and engineers created a campus that will ultimately be certified LEED Gold – above the Army’s standard of silver. The resulting campus is an environmentally sound design, which not only reflects the history of the Academy, but also provides state-of-the-art facilities with a modern edge.
This campus will provide motivation and inspiration for future West Point cadets for decades to come.”
Colonel, US Army
Commandant and Dean
United States Military Academy Preparatory School