The district began a new era in educational delivery as it successfully instituted the middle-school philosophy at Centennial Middle School. The challenges included personalizing a large building for middle- grade students to give them a sense of belonging and security.
A media center is centrally located at the heart of the building spine, providing easy COST PER SQ FT$96.00FEATURED IN1999 Architectural Portfolio1999 Educational Interiors for students and staff. Careful planning ensured the television- production studio and head-end room were adjacent to the media center, and the area contains technology systems.
Natural lighting was a critical design consideration. The 80-foot skylight in the media center, as well as the large windows throughout the building, provide natural light, thereby creating an inviting learning environment and a connection to nature, while reflecting the spine of the building.
Demountable and folding partitions allow for flexibility and adaptability to changing educational needs. Three two-story, 150-student houses are arranged to help personalize a large building. Each wing has two houses per floor that combine with a central faculty office/work/conference area designed to promote staff-to-staff and staff-to-student communications.
Accessibility and security of the building were key issues for community use. A public side of the building was designed to attract the community and enhance the access to assembly and community learning spaces.
The zoning of the building provides complete security for after-hours community use.
Photographer: ©Ralph Berlowitz