Over 60 people participated in a Pre-Design Workshop to discuss community and stakeholder goals and aspirations for the project. One of the workshop ideas was an interior plaza which became a strong organizing feature in the school. The interior plaza is placed midway along a defined path from the street in front of the school to the existing dense woods behind the school. The design of the school is also greatly influenced by the nature of the site.
This middle school features six innovative classroom/lab clusters to support distinct communities of learners within the school as well as a comprehensive provision of specialized spaces. Clusters are arranged along the quiet wooded area with views to the trees nearby and include shared activity space, an open computer work area, and small seminar rooms.
Active public spaces like the gymnasium and cafeteria are located in the other half of the building, closer to the sports fields. The internal plaza space holds all these parts together while providing identity, wayfinding ease, and separation from noisy and quiet activities.