Glacier Middle School quietly sits in the town of Buckley. Serving as the White River School District’s only middle school, the school presents an appropriately civic presence to River Road while complementing its surroundings.
Through this modernization and addition, our design team brought together the three existing buildings into a simple, yet decisive, form that is welcoming and accessible, while exterior materials reflect the natural surroundings of the foothills of Mount Rainier.
The building can be conceptually split into two segments, renovated and new construction. In the first segment, the existing Music/Arts suite received an internal remodel and the existing Gymnasium was substantially remodeled and modernized to reorganize the support spaces to age-appropriate facilities. These renovated buildings were then “collected” into a semitransparent screen that identifies them as a single form. The adjacent new construction creates a simple volume that extends eastward.
Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs, are at the heart of the educational model for GMS and are folded into the design of the new building. To accommodate this learning style, similar subject-based classrooms are arranged proximate to each other and to supporting resources. These internal relationships are expressed through interruptions and subtle setbacks along the exterior façade.