The new Middle School is a 172,951 sf facility for grades 5th through 8th is designed to complement the adjacent Upperman High School campus. The school will have a core capacity of 1,200 students with an initial classroom capacity of 1,000 students. The design mandate is to capture the historic presence of the community’s well-known and historic Baxter Seminary.
The community wished for the new middle school’s architecture to reflect upon the look and history of the Baxter Seminary. The face and entry of the facility is through a traditional “school house” Greek Revival architecture consisting of two story double-loaded corridors housing core classrooms. The brick exterior is enhanced by a deep continuous cornice and classical portico with Tuscan columns and standard triangular pediment.
The exterior of the facility complements the Georgian/Neoclassical architectural style of the former Baxter Seminary by using similar materials, colors, patterns, structural rhythms, and fenestration. The exterior walls are masonry construction with brick veneer. The exterior windows are visually similar to the single hung/double hung operable windows and fixed windows of former Baxter Seminary. The building was strategically placed on the site to preserve two wetlands and utilizes an energy efficient geothermal HVAC system.
Type of construction, materials and mechanical systems: The school primarily consists of masonry bearing walls, concrete slabs, steel frame floor construction, and open-web steel joists supporting metal roof decking. Roofs are low-slope white TPO membrane on rigid insulation. Exterior walls are clad in brick veneer. Exterior windows and clerestories are aluminum storefront with low-E insulated glazing units. The geothermal mechanical system, electrical systems, plumbing fixtures, and building envelope are energy efficient, designed to meet or exceed the requirements of the energy code.