Teachers and students love the unique design they helped create in the “V-wing” organization for the new Ames Middle School. The building transparency presents visual openings to experience the nearby College Creek and wetlands that traverse the length of the heavily wooded site.
From the curtainwall windows in the media center, the 180-degree windowed stairwells to CAPACITY1,200COST PER SQ FT$100.26FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio commons with windows and doors to an outdoor patio, the school responds to the mandate for natural lighting throughout with an emphasis on classrooms. Core areas are designed with flexibility, future growth and community use in mind.
The building plan responds to the need to transition sixth grade into middle school; a sixth-grade classroom wing with separate commons supports the social and emotional development of the whole student. Teachers helped design the seventh- and eighth-grade wings so that teams are nearby with ample space for conferencing and support of middle school team goals. The flow of the building through two main hallways reduces travel times, and simplifies wayfinding and supervision.
The 1,200-seat auditorium with balcony supports middle school events, as well as districtwide music and community performances.