Among the challenges posed during the design stages of the Webster City Middle School was how to connect two existing buildings in a functional configuration while classes continue to operate. The existing school consisted of four separate buildings. A single-story elementary school and a multi-level gymnasium were to be updated; the other two buildings had to remain in ASSOCIATED FIRMSimonson & Associates ArchitectsCAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$72.88FEATURED IN1998 Architectural Portfolio throughout construction. The resulting solution provides a complete middle school under one roof.
The organization of the new school consists of two classroom neighborhoods with shared function in between them. The heart of the new school is a technology/media center housing both traditional library materials and computerized information services. Two adjacent Discovery Centers, designed as hi-tech cockpits for navigation through information via a variety of electronic formats, allow students computer access during free periods. Information access extends to all teaching spaces.
Flexibility has been emphasized with the use of operable walls, post-and-beam structure, and wire management. For example, the music classroom/stage can be opened to either the multipurpose gymnasium or the commons in a variety of configurations to suit the event.