Highlands Middle School

Fort Thomas, Kentucky

  • FIRM

    SHP Leading Design


    Fort Thomas Independent School District

  • AREA

    95,000 sq.ft.





Site constraints and the desire for a facility that would support a middle-school curriculum drove the three-story design of Highlands Middle School.

Each floor has a central interdisciplinary activity center (IAC), allowing multiple classes to meet together without disturbing others. Movable walls expand adjacent classrooms to accommodate different teaching ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$157.90CITATIONMiddle School CitationFEATURED IN2002 Architectural Portfolio and give students ample teamwork opportunities. To facilitate hands-on learning, an art studio, industrial-technology lab and computer lab are accessible to students without disrupting others.

The architectural appearance of the building was a direct response to the community’s requirement that the building be compatible with the surrounding civic architecture and the existing high school. A prominent stair tower adds to the building’s monumental feel. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the administration and gymnasium lobbies provide the warm welcome of natural light. The 600-seat gymnasium can hold the entire student body and offers a separate entrance for after-school events. A central courtyard supports outdoor dining, reading and recess. A parking garage under the building maximizes available space.

The building, ancillary facilities and parking were master-planned into the overall city context to support community access and use of the facility.

"Compatible design with a sense of place."--Jury 2002