Sylvan Hills Middle School

Sherwood, Arkansas

Pulaski County Special School District needed to replace the existing Sylvan Hills Middle School because of facility usage and growing population. The new school rests on a 44-acre campus serving 1,320 students in grades 6 to 8. Improving the educational environment for students and faculty through sustainability, natural lighting and ease of use was a ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,320COST PER SQ FT$158.75FEATURED IN2010 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress for the district and building team.

The middle school is based on a "mall" concept: The gym and cafeteria serve as anchors connected on each end through student streets. Academic pods along the student streets encourage a fully integrated curriculum and collaborative teaching environment. Pods create high flexibility with regard to student separation by grade, specialty or required district curriculum. Each pod has extended learning centers to be used for teaming projects and a double-sized seminar room for presentations. Unique amenities include support spaces for an extensive workforce and technology curriculum. The media center and administrative offices are adjacent to the main public entrance.

Light is maximized via clerestory windows in the cafeteria, media center and entrances, as well as skylights in the student streets.