It has been so exciting for the last two years to be a part of designing a purpose-built middle school. The building project will take two years, with an expected move in of August 2021. Check out these great images of our new building plan.
Last year, we convened a Middle School Building Design Committee to start dreaming and prioritizing our hopes for a new Middle School building. We were told to dream big, and that we did! We started our process with grounding in our ISK Mission and Vision and Educational Aims. We then considered the ISK pathways (integrated, personalized and experiential), in conjunction with our overarching goals around teaching and learning. The Committee based their work on best practices, referring to The Association for Middle Level Education and looking at images of other exemplar Middle Schools. The architect worked with the Committee, as well as meeting with various stakeholder groups to gather input and feedback to develop a concept design. With that in mind, we developed our design priorities.
Our Priorities for the new MS Building:
- Be accessible: Wheelchair and washroom access ADA code
- Have an appealing design
- Facilitate the ISK learning goals (Aims, personalized learning, inclusion, technology, integrated learning)
- Reflect the Middle School philosophy – teaming, meeting developmental needs
- Plan for growth, provide for an increase in student numbers
- Embrace the natural environment
- Have natural light, consider airflow and rain (have covering when walking between classes), consider weather
- Incorporate elements that appreciate that we are in Kenya
- Have flexible spaces – outside balconies, large spaces, flexible spaces outside the classroom
- Fit in with the architecture of the school
Our Middle School Building Design Committee continued our work this past year as well. With the concept designs firmly in place, our work this year was to refine the detail designs for the various learning spaces. The architect worked with the Committee and others to fine tune the details of what each learning space would look like.
All of this resulted in designing a gorgeous middle school that will include some spectacular features, such as a Life Centered Education Room (to continue supporting our goals around inclusion at ISK), a Teaching Kitchen with multiple cooking bays, a Black Box Theater, a Middle School Multi-Purpose Space, teaching spaces on the roof, balconies on each classroom to take advantage of the beautiful weather of Kenya and extend our teaching and learning spaces, flexible learning spaces and more. We also paired our project with the need for new High School Science Labs, and Dr. Blanchard and the HS Science Team went through a similar process to develop the designs for state of the art science spaces. We are so excited for this purpose-built school that will support our ISK goals for meaningful learning experiences for students.
We are pleased with the results and we have just broken ground on this exciting project. See photos below of our Groundbreaking Ceremony on June 3, 2019 and the building of our displacement classes.