Faced with increasing enrollment at all levels in its K-12 buildings, the school district decided to reconfigure its buildings and move grade 6 from the elementary school into a middle school designed for grades 6 to 8. This move freed up classroom space in the elementary schools and enabled the school district to ask voters to replace an aging middle school. With 90 ASSOCIATED FIRMArmstrong, Torseth, Skold and Rydeen, Inc.CAPACITY1,500COST PER SQ FT$78.00FEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio voter approval, the district proceeded with a new middle school designed to house 1,500 students.
The separation of bus and car traffic dictated separate drives and the placement of the building on the site. The building needed a common entry space; thus, the commons serves as the central collection point of students before and after school. The building has two parts: the public/community-use spaces, and classroom and media center spaces. The commons, situated in the middle, serves as the entry space for students, as the cafeteria, and as a lobby and support space to the gyms and auditorium for school and community functions. The classrooms, grouped in houses, were specially designed with an angled wall to enhance acoustics and distances from instructional presentations.