Noble, Okla., needed to replace an outdated and crowded middle school. The existing middle school was a conglomeration of mismatched additions that lacked an overall sense of identity. The new middle school was envisioned to serve both the students and community, and to have a unique identity that set it apart from other institutional buildings.
Situated on CAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$72.00FEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio 20-acre site, the building floor plan was organized around a large, sweeping curve that symbolically embraces the community. A gracefully curved corridor functions as the central spine of student circulation from which all major building spaces are accessed. The daylighted corridor also separates the public functions on the west (administrative offices and gymnasium) from the academic on the east (classrooms and library). Dividing these spaces along the corridor allows the academic portions of the building to be secured during nighttime activities. Similarly, common curricular activities shared by all grade levels, such as art and technical education, are west of the main corridor and grade-level classrooms are to the east.
The new learning environment incorporates many design concepts that were expressed during the design charrette. Decorative columns, signage and colorful floor patterns distinguish each classroom as an important part of the learning process. The commons/dining area entices students by emulating a small food court, forming a lively place where students can gather and socialize.