ED lab INC
Robin Randall

Sycamore Middle School

“Transformation Reveals the
Potential of Middle School Philosophy”

Architect: FGM Architects
Senior Designer: Robin Randall
Photography: TBD
Client: Sycamore CUSD 427

Completed in 2011
Science of Learning:
The eight strategies for middle school design transform this junior high into a supportive environment for middle school learners. What was a narrow double loaded corridor classroom wing is remodeled into a school within a school community for learning. Extended learning areas provide team space for flexible group learning and pull out teaching. Color, pattern and volume changes inform discovery in each grade level house. The information commons, the new school centerpiece, connects to each student with playful, flexible seating, technology, and a variety of learning environments.

Language of Nature:
New courtyards, entry plaza and outdoor classrooms continue the element of discovery connecting the interior patterns and shapes with the exterior. The entry to the school is relocated off the main street replacing the trash enclosure with a welcoming canopy, signage wall and landscaping elements including a flagpole. A bike path connection with bike storage encourages students and teachers to use alternative transportation methods. This project was designed to LEED certification standards.

Art of Innovation:
New science labs create science courtyards and a new green house emphasizes exploration in learning. Skylights carved into the existing landlocked cafeteria and extended learning spaces provide day lighting and reduce electrical energy use. Lighting occupancy sensors and programmable thermostats also reduce energy costs. Horizontal sunshades on the southern windows bounce natural light into the learning environments without heat or glare.