The Holten and Richmond schools were constructed in the early 20th century. Recently, they sat vacant or partially used. The town conducted studies regarding the future of the existing high school and middle school in response to increasing enrollment and aging facilities. The town decided to convert the Holten-Richmond site into a middle school to replace the CAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$155.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation school.
The existing buildings offer 95,000 square feet of space; however, the configuration was inappropriate for contemporary middle school educational programs. The restricted site is bordered by major roads and parklands, so expansion room is limited. In addition, the town wanted to maintain the historic character of the Holten and Richmond buildings.
Design options combined educational programming, daylighting, sufficiently sized core facilities, sustainable-design elements, parking and efficient vehicular circulation within the existing site boundaries.
The best solution used selective demolition at the rear of the existing building with a contemporary addition to allow for 148,000 square feet of space and created public access for modern core facilities. Existing interior spaces were reconfigured to provide educational spaces that are well-suited to the program.
The historic facades were restored, and the rear addition incorporates design cues from the traditional original structure.