The new middle school will be on Kent Island on the western end of Queen Anne’s County, which serves as the gateway to Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore. The design is based on the nautical design of a ship’s hull, and will use geothermal heat-pump technology as a heating and cooling system. The projected capacity of the new middle school is 800 students in grades 6 CAPACITY800COST PER SQ FT$167.91FEATURED IN2005 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress 8. Initially, up to 500 middle school students are proposed in grades 6 to 8 with 300 ninth-grade students in a separate academy on the second floor.
A clear circulation system (keel of a boat) easily understood by students, parents, community and visitors is the main design feature of the project. It will serve as the lobby for the main public-use spaces (physical-education suite with stage, cafeteria and music suite) and provide the link between the public spaces and the educational areas. The administration area is situated centrally at the main entrance to oversee the access of all students, parents and visitors to the school and main corridor.
The floor plan is organized around a grade-level cluster or village arrangement for the middle school and two small learning communities for the ninth-grade academy. These smaller schools-within-a-school will serve as a vehicle for supporting and encouraging the fundamental curriculum practices of the school system and creating a friendlier educational atmosphere.