The Forest Hills Public Schools community passed a bond program in 2018 to update the district’s aging infrastructure, increase safety measures, and inspire students by creating modern learning environments. As part of the bond, the Forest Hills Central Middle School is undergoing a complete renovation to enhance the school’s systems and learning environments.
The updated floor plan will allow for multiple collaboration spaces for middle school students and breaks the building up into grade level houses. Each house has a large breakout space with movable furniture that leads to the core of the building. A wide, 20-foot corridor directs students to the core that is complemented by high ceilings with bright, clerestory windows. A large group learning space in the core was designed to accommodate a variety of learning styles with presentation space and flexible furniture. A second collaboration room, identified as the “Ranger Core Collaboratory,” across from the presentation room is transparent with a full glass wall on the corridor side while the other side includes a garage door that leads into a courtyard to support a variety of programs.
Giving students multiple large and small group learning areas throughout the school encourages them to connect in ways that work best for them. Technology upgrades throughout will also complement different teaching and learning styles.
The district wanted a facility design that matches the programming the school offers and puts learning on display. Project-based learning will be supported with lots of flexibility and dedicated presentation areas as a result. An updated lecture and lab-based science classroom has been combined and rearranged to allow for more natural light, alongside updates to the building’s other science classrooms. To increase daylighting, additional skylights were added, and all classrooms will have operable windows. The school’s prominent color of forest green is also displayed throughout the school to create a welcoming and familiar environment for students.