Central Middle School

Distinguished Building Award Submission

This 1,000 student middle school creates a new urban open space for a small Indiana town while also providing a synergistic learning environment. The north-south massing defines a public open space in conjunction with the neighboring elementary school. This greenway connects the streets to the north and south, creating a new educational park for the town. A two-story arcade defines the greenway and provides a civic-scale covered gathering space and entry for the school.

The plan is organized in an L-shape configuration, with general and specialized classrooms in one wing, and shared facilities such as music, performing arts, gymnasium and library in the other. The classroom wing is broken into eight self contained neighborhood learning clusters on one side, juxtaposed against a linear bar of science and arts classrooms. At the junction of these two wings is a two-story lobby and student commons. The commons opens on to an outdoor U-shaped courtyard for student gatherings. The overall L-shaped configuration defines an outdoor play space on to which the classroom clusters open.

CSO Architects
Associate Architect
Perkins + Will
Central Middle School
  • Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.
  • L’Acquis Consulting Engineers
General contractor
Dunlap & Company, Inc.
Columbus, Indiana