Gray Middle School
Built on the gently sloping site of a former high school, the new Gray Middle School unites site and program within a high performance building that brings students, teachers and the community together. Adjacent to light industrial areas, parks and recreation facilities, the project sought to create an identifiable civic building that is both a welcoming public facility as well as a safe and healthy learning environment. Serving a lower socio-economic community, the school in its new location places it at the center of neighborhood activity, making it a community hub with multiple venues for public use.
At the heart of the facility, a two-story gallery provides a forum for gathering that encourages communication and collaboration. The gallery links the traditional educational program to outdoor learning spaces and a public entry plaza. Throughout, the sustainable building supports the school’s educational objectives with healthy environments. Outdoor education and high performance building features connect students with the natural world and resource conservation, engaging them in the cultivation of tomorrow’s sustainable communities.
Three fundamental objectives drove the design concept:
Enhance the connection to the greater public; the school to serve as a neighborhood hub with shared community facilities
Create a highly collaborative environment; open visual access between learning spaces and common spaces to encourage communication and interaction
Teach environmental stewardship by example; high performance building strategies openly expressed to encourage student interaction