Fort Loudoun Middle School
Loudon County Schools
1st Place TSBA School of the Year Award Winner – 2014 Middle School New Construction
The Loudon County School District’s long-range Capital Improvements Plan recommended enlarging the current Loudon Elementary School by combining the existing middle school and elementary school facilities which are located on the same site. A 37 acre site, adjacent to the Loudon County High School, was purchased to construct a new Fort Loudoun Middle School to house sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students with a planned enrollment of 600 students (200 students per grade level) and a building (B.E.P.) capacity of 775 students.
Community Tectonics Architects assisted the school district in developing the educational specifications for the new middle school. Those participating in the planning process included: the Director of Schools, district and school staff, administrators, teachers, and school board members. The Educational Specifications conveyed to the architect indicated the user group’s preference for an “educational model” that would accommodate three academic wings or “learning centers”. Each “learning center” is adaptable to a variety of student organizational plans such as: “grade levels”, “inter-disciplinary teams”, “departments” or “multi-age grouping”. Currently each learning center is organized by grade levels with two interdisciplinary teams of four (4) classrooms each (Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science).
The passive (quiet) activities of the three learning centers are easily accessible to the media center, computer lab, administration, clinic, special education services, and guidance areas but are acoustically separated from the more active support spaces.
The active (noisy) spaces such as: art room, music room, dining, gymnasium, and little theater are physically and acoustically separated from the passive (quiet) academic spaces. This zoning provides security and containment while encouraging after-hour use of these spaces for extra curriculum activities and a variety of community functions.
The “Commons / Dining Room”, which serves the “student gathering place” in the mornings, is easily accessible from separate bus and automobile drives and entries.
The allowable B.E.P. teacher/student ratio will allow an “internal expansion” of about 175 students without constructing additional classroom. When and if an increased student enrollment dictates the need for additional classroom space, each “learning center” can be easily expanded to maintain the desired teacher/student ratio of 1/25.