In 1999, the city of Medford, Mass., launched a two-phase school reconstruction program to replace aging elementary and middle schools. Eleven elementary schools were consolidated in four new buildings to improve program offerings. In addition, the city addressed desegregation issues and maximized state funding by busing middle school students to a single site shared by CAPACITY1,100COST PER SQ FT$140.79FEATURED IN2002 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized magnet schools.
The challenge in Phase I was designing two middle schools and one elementary school on a 1,900-student campus along the Mystic River.
In the McGlynn School, elementary and middle schools occupy distinct wings and share core facilities, including a 450-seat auditorium. The shared spaces include smaller components to appeal to younger students. Classrooms are placed along a curving corridor and overlook the Mystic River. The elementary wing is more compact than the middle school wing, reinforcing the intimate school-within-a-school feeling.
In both middle schools, each grade is organized into two teams: each team has four classrooms and a central science room. Each floor houses one grade, and the team clusters provide a home base that students can reach without going through another cluster.
Note: Costs are for elementary school. Middle school: 104,040 sq. ft.; $15.2 million; $146.10/sq. ft.