The ACI Boland Learn Studio partnered with PWArchitects and Columbia Public Schools (CPS) on the design of the District’s first new middle school in over 30 years. As the first CPS middle school focused on fostering collaboration, the design provides spaces with varied scales. It has small-scale corridor collaboration for peer-to-peer work and larger collaboration spaces that are team-based in size.
The media center plays an important role in achieving the District’s larger goals of supporting collaborative work and fostering creativity. We reinforced their plans by placing the media center in the center of the school, off the main entryway and the primary hallway. It is located here, so it can serve as a center of innovation and collaboration for the entire building.
Within its walls, students have access to books and computers as expected. However, our plans went a step further. The media center includes a STEM lab with space and furniture designed for project based learning. In addition, the space offers a variety of places for students to gather. Our design team created flexible areas by incorporating tables of different shapes and sizes, along with moveable soft and hard seating. The colorful space uses acoustic panels to provide interest and a comfortable work environment.