McKamy Middle School represents the fourth realization of a prototype middle school in the school district—a project that demanded innovative thinking during the design process. Because land is extremely expensive in this area, the district elected to locate the school on a 30-acre shared site with an elementary school. This opened the door for the design team to make CAPACITY1,100COST PER SQ FT$71.32FEATURED IN1998 Architectural Portfolio use of shared space, including one wide bus drive to accommodate traffic at both schools. Each school has its own parent drive. Parking lots and playground areas also are shared.
The district had built three middle schools of the same floor plan, but the limited site and change in topography did not make this floor plan feasible. However, by separating the gymnasium and dressing areas, and converting the rectilinear plan into an L-shpaed plan, the district was able to fit the new site while maintaining most aspects of the standardized plan. This flexibility saved the district a substantial amount of money.