Reimagining McLoughlin Middle School

Following an April 13 symposium to gather ideas for a new McLoughlin Middle School that would help the school overcome its facility-related challenges, planning teams of staff members and architects translated the key themes into architectural concepts and designs. On April 15 they unveiled three concepts for a new, larger school.

The following illustrations are artistic conceptual drawings only. They do not reflect final school design plans.

Concept 1: Family

McLoughlin is a home away from home for students and families. Its small-school feel allows students to build positive relationships with teachers. This concept’s front yard and entryway, with displays of students’ art and diversity, welcome families with soft, comfortable places that invite and inspire all ages. The entryway opens into a large living room, where students can gather. There is a variety of grouping and seating options to accommodate teenagers’ ever-changing social needs. A living room is the center of the home and connects to all other spaces. A library overlooks a commons. Classroom areas are designed to create families throughout the school, with several classrooms grouped together that have access to common collaboration areas and makerspaces. Lastly, a gym and performance center serve as a family room. The school is a place where understanding precedes expectation and everyone feels that they belong.

Download and view Concept 1 as a PDF.

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  • mcloughlin, project school, bond, facility planning
  • mcloughlin, project school, bond, facility planning
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  • mcloughlin, mac, bond, construction, concept, re
  • mcloughlin, mac, bond, construction, concept, re
  • mcloughlin, mac, bond, construction, concept, re

Concept 2: The whole experience

This concept was developed around the idea of human connections to the environment. The design aims to highlight the awesome scale and incredible beauty of the natural world. The school has a multitude of spaces for a range of energies. Students experience life and learning through renewable energy–creating solar panels, wind turbines and a green roof. Energy nooks, a rock wall and a fitness area allow users to capture and release their own energies. There are spaces for self-expression in professional-quality studios for the visual and performing arts. A rooftop garden and multiple quiet spaces enable reflection, processing and renewal. An academic wing includes a multitude of spaces, from a virtual reality habitorium to an outdoor amphitheater, with the ability to create flexible learning environments that support the learning spectrum. Classrooms embody the forward-thinking, flexible, dynamic nature of 21st-century learning.

Download and view Concept 2 as a PDF.

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  • mcloughlin, project school, bond, facility planning
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  • mcloughlin, mac, bond, construction, concept, re
  • mcloughlin, mac, bond, construction, concept, re
  • mcloughlin, mac, bond, construction, concept, re

Concept 3: The commons

This design welcomes the community and offers connectivity to the greater McLoughlin neighborhood and the families and partners who comprise and nurture the school’s diverse cultures. The concept is designed to foster and encourage a growth mindset. Adaptability, flexibility and collaboration are possible throughout the facility. The school is integrated by a community zone, enterprise zone and instructional zone. The entry to the building is comprised of an entrance commons which branches to a library, auditorium and administrative area. Beyond that, a student-centered commons serves as a multipurpose dining and gathering space and is connected to a performing arts center. Attached to the performance center is an athletic/fitness complex. The instructional zone, which overlooks the student commons, has classrooms with collaborative areas which open to the enterprise zone. The design also includes athletic fields and a shared Marshall Elementary/McLoughlin community center.

Download and view Concept 3 as a PDF.

  • mcloughlin, project school, bond, facility planning
  • mcloughlin, project school, bond, facility planning
  • mcloughlin, project school, bond, facility planning
  • mcloughlin, mac, bond, construction, concept, re
  • mcloughlin, mac, bond, construction, concept, re

The planning team presented their ideas to the school’s staff and the community to gather additional feedback. An extensive review and planning will assess feasibility and affordability and hone the concepts into more detailed plans. To stay up to date with the latest McLoughlin information, subscribe to the Re: Schools e-newsletter.

Want to comment on the three design concepts? Take a short survey to provide your feedback.

Proposed funding

In March 2015, the district conducted an informal online survey about district facilities needs. More than 1,500 respondents—parents, students, staff members and the community—told VPS how its buildings and properties could be improved and suggested schools that should be rebuilt. Ongoing symposia and staff, parent and community presentations are providing input on school designs. This input helps district leaders assess facilities needs and plan for the future.

Many VPS schools are slated to be rebuilt or significantly renovated. Every other VPS school will receive upgrades.

Proposed funding for the work is a bond measure that could be on the ballot in February 2017. However, the district’s board of directors must first approve the measure before it can appear on the ballot.

The community last approved a VPS bond measure in 2001. That bond helped replace or build Eisenhower, Franklin, Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Sarah J. Anderson and Washington elementary schools and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.