The Ross J. Willink Middle School is organized around a major circulation corridor with common program areas on one side and access to three student houses on the other. The main corridor replaces a former path through a heavily wooded area; the stand of trees is now symbolized by the use of a masonry colonnade. This corridor serves as the major organizational structure CAPACITY1,050COST PER SQ FT$165.00FEATURED IN2002 Architectural Portfolio both horizontal and vertical circulation.
Each of the three student houses is considered to be a school-within-a-school. Designed for up to 350 students, each can be configured either to house a single grade or contain multiple grades as program and curriculum needs dictate. Made up of three educational teams of five classrooms, each house has its own bus dropoff, entrance, and office for supervision and security.
The common program area is designed to support music, arts and technology curricula in addition to large-group functions—library, gymnasium and auditorium/dining center. These facilities support the community, while maintaining security in the student houses.