Fort Riley Middle School
The new middle school at U.S. Army base Fort Riley is a much-needed replacement of an aging facility. The 800-student school sits on a stunning hilltop site and wraps 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 brick and cost-effective materials that resemble limestone, the dominant building material found at Fort Riley. The transparent entry and commons areas overlook the downhill surroundings. Glass in the classrooms provides remarkable views, a connection between interior and exterior, and bathe the interior in natural daylight.
The district sought to encourage students to use the library, a space that is underutilized in traditional schools. The interior layout was organized around a central library/media hub. This area was conceived as more than a place to simply check out books. It is a flexible space for collaboration and interaction. Here, students can borrow tablets to support their learning in and out of the classroom, or work in small groups using technology to develop presentations. Corridors lead out from the hub to the classrooms.
The school also includes an 800-seat auditorium for performances and fine arts. An athletics wing contains two gyms and a wrestling fitness room that doubles as a storm shelter. The facility was designed to meet Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) standards, as well as LEED Silver certification. This sustainable design feat was accomplished in part by utilizing underground storage tanks to collect rainwater for the cooling tower and abundant daylighting throughout the building.