West Bridgewater Middle Senior HS
School as Community Resource; STEAM/Art Integration; Personalization, Connection and Ownership; Adaptability and Evolution; Visible Learning; Outdoor Connections; and Collegiate Feel.
New construction, two-story, 142,000 SF, completed 2015.
Grade 7-8 and 9-12 Academies, Centrally Located Commons, Outdoor Courtyard and Dining, Learning Stairs, Cyber Café, , Classroom Neighborhoods, Teacher Collaboration Spaces, Group Seminar Rooms, STEAM Commons, Classroom Wings, and Community Access Zone.
Boston Society of Architects Educational Facilities Design Award (2016), American School & University Architectural Portfolio Outstanding Designs (2016)
West Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Striving for a dynamic balance between traditional and non-traditional spaces and adjacencies, this new middle-high school created a STEAM Wing through the thoughtful co-location of its math, science, art and robotics classrooms around a STEAM Commons.
When the town of West Bridgewater, MA, decided to merge its middle and high school programs and design a new facility to house them both, it knew that it would be essential to gain strong community support for the project. The school district envisioned the creation of a campus that would serve its students for decades to come, as well as provide a community resource to be used year-round, after school and on weekends. The vision for the new 142,000 SF building was to create clearly differentiated middle and high school academies that could access, but also be closed off from a community wing that included the school’s Gymnasium, Auditorium, Dining Commons, Outdoor Courtyard, Media Center, Music Rooms and Video Production Lab.
The hub of both the school and the community wing is a spacious and light-filled dining commons that connects to an outdoor courtyard and seating area, and contains a carpeted “learning stair” which doubles as informal seating area and performance venue and connects the dining commons on the first floor to the cyber café and media center above. A double height STEAM commons room provides connection amongst, and access to, robotics, art, math and science classrooms, and also serves as a breakout space that encourages collaborative learning across STEAM disciplines.
Grade 7-8 classroom neighborhoods are located in the first-floor academic wing, while grades 9-12 neighborhoods are located on the second floor. Open group team rooms are located within each neighborhood to support team teaching and promote student interaction.
The school is part of a greater campus comprising the new middle/senior high school, an existing elementary school and athletic fields. Indoor/outdoor connections are facilitated by large spans of glass between the various wings that connect students and faculty to the interior courtyard and exterior surroundings. Informal gathering spaces located within the links have direct access to the courtyard.