New Chiles Middle School was designed to meet the Seminole County school district’s need for a large middle school without sacrificing the learning advantages of smaller-scale learning environments. Using the school-within-a-school concept, the design provides a more flexible learning environment by decentralizing the administration and media center; centralizing the CAPACITY1,588COST PER SQ FT$92.43FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio academic elements for each grade level; and enabling teaching methods to be more demonstrative.
Each learning environment, referred to as a school, contains a grade-level administration/guidance suite; math, science, English and history classrooms; and an exploratory lab organized with an integrated philosophy. Each school also includes an exceptional-student education suite and a decentralized media center/technology suite, or a Learning Resource Center. The entire student body shares the core community facilities such as the gymnasium and cafeteria.
Designing the space in a compact way reduces movement and congestion between classes, allowing teachers to monitor student movement more easily. Students travel to core community facilities through a large central courtyard, providing a sense of place and community, and a safe environment for students.