Gibbs Middle School
Warm, Safe and Inviting; Community Access; Creative and Visible Learning; Flexible and Adaptable; Neighborhood Clusters; Building as Teacher; and Outdoor Connections.
500 student, sixth grade transition program. Renovation of 1928 masonry building and 1972 steel frame addition, 69,000 SF, completed 2017.
Increased Security, Welcoming Entry, Classroom Neighborhoods, Hallway Breakout Areas, Branding and Identity, Increased Transparency, Multi-Use Spaces, Green Technologies (LEED V4), and Outdoor Learning Venues.
Housing all of its town’s sixth-grade students, this renovated elementary school serves as a welcoming and personalized transition program that unites children from incoming neighborhood elementary schools, while relieving crowding from the middle school they are poised to enter.
When considering how to best address the overcrowding problems in its middle school due to population growth, the town of Arlington, MA, soon discovered that site constraints negated the possibility of adding onto its current building. An alternative solution presented itself when the district envisioned the creation of a 6th Grade Academy that would free up space in within the middle school, while also providing a more welcoming and personalized transition program for students from its seven elementary schools. A nearby, decommissioned 1928 school building provided the perfect venue.
The newly renovated Gibbs School opened in September 2018, and is designed to support students' transition to a larger school community through a project-based and social emotional curriculum that emphasizes understanding, unification and personal growth. To these ends, the renovation focused on the creation of flexible classrooms as well as multi-purpose breakout and collaboration spaces that were created by “knocking teeth” out of the building’s double-loaded corridors in order to break up the hallways and unite collections of classrooms. A large, multi-purpose space houses community-building activities during the school day and community events after hours. The school’s library/media center is a light filled space that includes flexible work areas, a makerspace and a student lounge.