Mac Williams Middle School

Fayetteville, North Carolina

The architect was charged with the responsibility of creating an environment that was compatible with the existing high-school campus yet would break the institutional stereotype; enhances learning through the use of natural light, color, and spatial variation; and lowers energy usage and operating costs through natural lighting.

The concept of the school is a main ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$65.00FEATURED IN1998 Architectural Portfolio with grade-level neighborhoods. Shared facilities—library, gym cafeteria, art, music, etc.—are located along main street. The cafeteria, with no walls, serves as a commons and a gathering place during events in the gym. Three 350-person wings—neighborhoods—are color-coded. Using only six color variations for paint, vinyl, tile and laminate, every classroom is different. Planned for self-sufficiency, each has its own storage, workrooms, computer lab, multi-purpose room and administrative office. Each can be independently secured in an emergency.

Classrooms operate with no artificial lighting most of the time. High/low window strategy results in even illumination across each room. A significant reduction in energy costs has been achieved compared to other recently built schools.