Salem Middle School

Salem, Indiana

Constructed in 1976, the Salem Middle School had remained virtually unchanged for 28 years. The building was nearly windowless, had no provisions for expansion, and was built on the side of a hill with no accessible entrances. Administrative offices were on the second floor. The plumbing supply system had failed, lighting was inadequate, the auditorium had no ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY750COST PER SQ FT$60.41FEATURED IN2006 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation space, the main gym had little seating, indoor air quality was poor, and classrooms were inadequate. A growing elementary population prompted this modernization project.

The solution added space to the four corners of the building. Site utilities and storage buildings were relocated for a classroom and athletic center addition to the north. An existing wood shop was reconfigured to create a central maintenance and service hub. A new administrative suite was added to the southeast corner, and a porch was converted to a public lobby shared by the new office and the auditorium. A new driveway at the south provided grade-level access to the new lobby and an addition that provided a prop shop, dressing rooms and a new art room adjacent to the theater. The vacated second-floor offices were converted into a tutoring center.

Major infrastructure improvements included all new plumbing piping, mechanical systems with an energy-management system, ceilings and lights, fire-sprinkler and fire-alarm systems, an auditorium sound and lighting system, and a new electric service and power-distribution system.