New Wabash Elementary School

Wentzville School District – Wentzville, Missouri

Project Background

The Wentzville School District (WSD) continues to be the fastest growing school district in the state of Missouri, adding an average of 500 to 600 new students each year since 2001. In response to its rapidly increasing student population, the WSD has added 11 new schools since 2001. Completed in 2017, the 101,105 sq. ft. Wabash Elementary School is the most recent addition and is the largest elementary school in the district.

Wabash Elementary is from a “prototype” design that the WSD has utilized since 2005 to help maintain its budget. By utilizing the same blueprint for all its new schools, the district has been able to save upwards of $750,000 in construction costs. While Wabash Elementary follows this standard design, elements of the prototype have been modified to ensure that the new school complies with the 2009 Building Codes.

The school was built partially with cash from the WSD funds as part of the K-6 Plan for Growth which shifted all 11 elementary buildings from K-5 to K-6, alleviating overcrowding at the district’s three middle schools without a tax increase. Built in four design phases and finished four months ahead of schedule, the new school consists of general & special education, art & music classrooms, a full-size gymnasium, a multi-purpose room for the cafeteria, a secondary gymnasium, kitchen & serving areas, general storage, mechanical & electrical rooms, data rooms, offices, and restrooms.

Project Deliverables

The WSD decided to issue, build and open two full elementary schools instead of its original approach of one school followed by another the following year. Value engineering considerations for cost reductions were considered for both projects to meet budgetary requirements. The design team of Hoener Associates (Architect), Bax Engineering (Civil), and McClure Engineering (MEP) met this challenge and issued both projects under budget within two months of each other. Value engineering considerations included modifications to landscaping, finishes, and plumbing systems.

The facility is designed for a total population of about 1,100 and includes 46 classrooms. To accommodate its growing student population, a larger cafeteria and serving line was implemented. In addition, the HVAC system included a central plant with water-cooled chillers and natural gas-fired water heaters. Classroom HVAC systems are variable air volume with heating water reheat and energy recovery from exhaust air. The lighting is dual level T8 fluorescent lighting with occupancy sensor ‘off’ controls.

To adapt the “prototype” design to meet current district needs, some areas of the new school would need to be redesigned. In the first stages of the project, the district opened a discussion on restroom redesign to comply with the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and its implementing regulations prohibiting sex discrimination in educational programs and activities. The restrooms were redesigned to remove all urinals and to install water closets in partitioned enclosures.

In addition to the restroom redesign, new design options were under consideration to increase energy efficiency. Ameren Missouri provides energy efficiency incentives for building systems that perform better than the required minimum standards and codes. The district utilized its Architectural and Engineering team of Hoener Associates Architects and McClure Engineering to design Wabash Elementary as an efficient facility. Considerations included geothermal source heating and cooling, solar photovoltaic, storm water reclaim system for use in restroom fixtures, and cooling tower water make-up. While none of these design considerations were included in the final design package due to budgetary restrictions, other efforts made to ensure energy efficiency at the new school paid off substantially. Minimum requirements of the design would have the building consuming roughly1.1 million kilowatt hours per year. However, the energy-efficient design is projected to save about one-third of this energy (330,913 kWh/year below the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 requirements). Energy efficient lighting and lighting controls account for 115,308 kWh in savings. The remaining balance of savings is from energy recovery and energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. The design team, as an Ameren Trade Ally member, was able to model the building and submit an application for an Ameren Missouri incentive of $56,159.31 toward the cost of these systems.

Architect Of Record

Hoener Associates

Construction Cost




Market Sector

K-12 Education

Year Completed




Our Services
McClure Mechanical services
McClure Plumbing services
McClure Fire Safety services
McClure Electrical services
McClure Lighting services
McClure Security services

Chuck Dale-Derks, P.E.