Fort Riley Middle School

The new middle school at U.S. Army base Fort Riley is a much-needed replacement of an aging education facility. It sits on a stunning hilltop site but was heavily constrained by the existing school. The design for the new 800-student middle school wrapped around the old school, which was demolished as construction neared completion.

Fort Riley Middle School’s modern design features clean lines, abundant glass and integration with the surrounding environment. The exterior cladding includes cost-effective materials that resemble limestone, the dominant building material found at Fort Riley. The transparent entry and commons areas overlook the surroundings downhill. Glass in the classrooms provides remarkable views, a connection between interior and exterior, and bathe the interior in natural daylight.

The interior layout was organized around a library/media hub. This area was conceived as more than a place to simply check out books. Here, students can borrow Nooks and tablets to support their learning in and out of the classroom. The hub was centrally located to promote interaction and use of the library, a space that some schools find to be an afterthought for students. Corridors lead out from the hub to the classrooms.