Muhlenberg North Middle School was a multiphase addition and renovation project, with security and linear design at the top of administrators’ wish list. Major challenges of the project were site constraints, student relocation and continuation of the education process during construction. Administrators also wanted a fun, imaginative space that excited students about COST PER SQ FT$93.93FEATURED IN2003 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas facility and about learning.
The social needs of middle school students also were a strong consideration in the design process. The result is an extended lobby that serves those needs and administrators’ security concerns. A single point of observation allows views of all four corridors in the school. Glass walls were incorporated into the administration and media center to allow visual control in the commons area. The linear design of the facility incorporates four pods, each with four classrooms and a science area.
Using a pre-engineered metal building with masonry infill and brick veneer helped control costs, as did the geothermal well field, which serves the water-source heat pumps and energy-recovery system. The main corridor also serves as a storm shelter, with the mechanical platform resting above.