The architect was charged with building a technology-oriented intermediate school to include a strong instructional program for 21st-century learning. It was to serve the entire community through recreation, after-school programs, community events, technology instruction and other adult-education programs, and become a model for other Maryland schools.
Somerset CAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$239.83FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio School staff, students and community members were involved heavily in the planning process. When asked what they expected of the school, people answered, “Brick, like every other school. What else would it be?” The design team seized this opportunity to transform the mindset and expectations of the community. They demonstrated how architecture can influence and inspire learning, and contribute to the creation of a place that is authentic to its site. This school is a reflection of the rural community’s investment in its future through the design of a one-of-a-kind facility for learning.
The result is a building enriched with daylight, the latest teaching technology, a geothermal heating and air-conditioning system, and other sustainable features that minimize operating costs. The flexible design can integrate technological advances easily. The building was sited to avoid Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas and wetlands, and to minimize disturbance to the existing woodlands.