Dickinson Middle School21st St. W and 60th Ave. W
Dickinson, ND 58601
Design Achievement – Drawing upon findings from the recently completed facility master plan, the Dickinson School District knew that the middle grades were in greatest need for a new school facility. Recognizing that the district wanted a school to deliver 21st Century learning environments, DLR Group engaged District administration and stakeholders to plan and design a school that would not only meet the needs of individual students, but foster meaningful opportunities, self-discovery and encourage collaboration. The new facility is designed with the future of education in mind. Subject matter agility demanded spatial transformation and reconfiguration through innovative wall systems. This flexibility will bring a new generation of learning spaces, allowing teachers and students to adjust their environment to support more active pedagogies. In this design, students are organized into clusters, each containing three primary learning environments together with lab space and common discovery areas. While the edge of each cluster are defined, it is what is afforded within that will allow each peer group of 120 students and four teachers the chance to collaborate and explore the curriculum together. The walls open and slide; each configuration resizing the learning area in multiple directions. Technology is ubiquitous, with segments of presentation walls distributed throughout each cluster anchoring the space. Natural light will be transmitted through direct and indirect means, depending upon the configuration at any moment. Media materials are co-located in each cluster and transported back and forth on demand from the media center. Lockers are located adjacent to the academic areas, with some banks on casters to afford an adaptive educational area where tables could be wheeled in place thereby taking advantage of traditionally underutilized space. Color and material selection will signify each cluster’s identity.
Scope Summary – The new 200,000 SF middle school is designed to accommodate 960 students in grades 6 through 8. In addition, the building will serve multiple community functions and house community gatherings. A series of encore rooms, each outfitted with additional technology, are found throughout the core of the building to accommodate specialty classes such as art, drafting or consumer science and may be adapted as specialty programs are changed or added. Specialty classrooms for special education and language arts are located with staff offices and other building support spaces in the core of the building, music and physical education programs are grouped together with the commons and forum spaces in a specially zoned wing for after-hours community use. The student commons area serves primarily as the student cafeteria, but can act as a multifunction space for school and community events; the forum incorporates theatrical lighting and rigging and can serve as a large lecture and performance space. DLR Group is providing architecture; mechanical, electrical, structural engineering; and interior design services.