Tri-North Middle School

Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) identified the need to replace the aging Tri-North Middle School. CSO and BrainSpaces, an expert in brain-based educational planning and design, led a visioning and programming process that enabled CSO to design a new building tailored to the specific needs and vision of Tri-North students, teachers, and administrators.

The building layout utilizes next generation learning elements including an open media center, collaboration spaces, and small group rooms throughout the building. Teachers and administrators expressed the need for spaces to be flexible and adaptable to a rapidly changing educational world. CSO’s design addresses the need for flexibility by implementing features such as the use of operable theater seating in the Performance / Large Group Instruction space, operable partitions in Science and STEM labs, and spaces that are planned to facilitate the use of both departmental and interdisciplinary teaching models.

MCCSC also emphasized the need for sustainable design considerations which were implemented with plans for a geothermal system, solar array on the gym roof, and use of local materials and native plants. The leadership of MCCSC is excited for the New Tri-North Middle School to be the crown jewel for this Bloomington community.

Central Middle School

The replacement project for Central Middle School started with a series of workshops involving students, administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and Columbus community members. The goals for Central Middle School were to prepare for change in the future, promote collaboration through student-centered teams, integrate technology, incorporate flexible spaces, encourage community use and partnerships, and create a secure yet accessible environment.

CSO worked in collaboration with Perkins + Will to plan a flexible facility that would accommodate future growth and curriculum changes. The school is zoned into two components: an academic zone and a public zone. In the academic zone, spaces are grouped together to support the middle school team model and create a smaller scale environment for students, while remaining flexible for future teaching needs. Twenty four classrooms are grouped into teams consisting of three classrooms, a laboratory, and a shared space. Public spaces are separated from academic spaces by the building’s main entry. A multi-story commons acts as a cafeteria and multi-functional hub for students.

The use of historic signage and façade elements allow this new school to blend in with historic downtown Columbus. Significant green spaces create an educational park for the town while maintaining a neighborhood identity.

Clark-Pleasant Middle School

Clark-Pleasant Middle School is part of a two-phase building project for students in grades 5 through 8. The first phase accommodates 1,600 middle school students in grades 7 and 8, while also providing the core support spaces for a future 5th and 6th grade intermediate school addition in this rapidly growing school district.

The project’s design features a student friendly “Main Street” corridor running the length of the building, and providing easy access to the three 2-story classroom wings, the media center, physical education spaces, cafeteria, and a large group instruction room. The three attached classrooms wings serve to break the building into three smaller schools within a school, with each wing having its own bold accent color introduced into wall paints, carpet, terrazzo flooring, and ceramic wall tile, to assist with way-finding. Designers focused on bringing in an abundant amount of natural light into as many spaces as possible. Wall treatments were kept simple and light in color to brighten spaces. The focus then shifted to floor patterning where designers saw an economical opportunity to make a big and bold impact by introducing the accent colors into the design.