Alpine School District Prototype Middle School

Alpine and Lehi, Utah

  • FIRM

    VCBO Architecture


    Alpine School District

  • AREA

    187,500 sq.ft.





In this fast-growing region, the district needed more than one new middle school building. Four committees were established: the curriculum committee, the community building committee, the maintenance committee and the student committee.

This led to a series of programming and philosophy workshops, tours of outstanding similar facilities and the formation of a ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,500COST PER SQ FT$88.27CITATIONMiddle School CitationFEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio group of project stakeholders to plan the new school design. The project was to be a prototype design. The urgent need for multiple new schools, paired with the need for economy in the state with the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation, mandated that this design be applicable to more than one venue. As anticipated, by bidding two identical schools at the same time and building them over the same period, the project realized a $1.8 million savings.

The key to the solution was the arrangement of the classrooms into three grade-level-specific, double-lobed academic learning centers, or houses, surrounding (but connected through glass roll-up doors in every classroom) a lively central collaboration space. These houses provide a flexible, open and visible environment for group collaboration. Conference rooms and faculty planning offices, toilet rooms and lockers make up a house, promoting a cohesive environment in which students can live and learn. This school-within-a-school concept helps divide the 1,400 students into smaller, more intimate learning families.

"Appealing architecture. The design illustrates attention to programming. Good flexibility."--2005 jury