Dickinson Middle School21st St. W and 60th Ave. W
Dickinson, ND 58601
Design Achievement – As the first strategy to be implemented from the recently completed facility master plan, Dickinson Middle School embodies the collaborative and community-driven approach to educating young people in this western North Dakota community. Recognizing that the district wanted a school to deliver 21st Century learning environments, DLR Group engaged staff and stakeholders to design learning environments that would meet the needs of individual students by encouraging opportunities, self-discovery, and collaboration. The evolving nature of education and subject matter agility demanded spatial transformation and reconfiguration through innovative wall systems. This uber-flexibility woven into the academic clusters will bring a new generation of learning spaces, allowing teachers and students to adjust their environment to support more active pedagogies. While the edges 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 is integral to effective learning and is integrated through direct and indirect means, depending upon the configuration at any moment. Decentralized media offers curriculum-focused distribution of materials as needed to support the staff and students.
Scope Summary – The new 200,000 SF middle school is designed to accommodate 960 students in grades 6 through 8. In addition, the building serves multiple community functions and houses community gatherings. A series of encore rooms, each outfitted with additional technology, is 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 provided architecture; mechanical, electrical, structural engineering; and interior design services.