The existing Rochester Junior High School shared athletic, food service, art, music and industrial-technology facilities with the district’s high school on a common site. This arrangement allowed both facilities to offer a wider variety of programs, but the inconvenience of the remote buildings led to frequent delays and security issues. The demand for new space in the COST PER SQ FT$173.58FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio growing district, as well as the need to replace the aging junior high facility, presented an opportunity to solve these issues.
A master plan was developed that would replace the existing junior high school and various standalone buildings with one new building. This plan allows the high school to add space, including a new fine-arts wing with a performance auditorium. The existing gym and cafeteria now are linked physically with the high school and junior high for the first time.
The new junior high has its own entrance and identity, and maintains the program space while limiting the exterior walls. This enables the junior high program to include more common-use space, and enables more of the site to be available for playing fields and parking. The colorful, sunlighted corridors of this new complex provide a warm and exciting place for students.