HMFH Architects

Middletown Middle High School

Middletown Middle High School will break new ground as the first public school of its kind in Rhode Island. Now in design, this pioneering facility will serve as a model for future schools, showcasing the expanded resources, cost-savings, and educational opportunities a well-designed middle high school can offer.

Designed to accommodate over 1,000 students in grades 6-12, the new Middletown Middle High School is the leading project in a district-wide master plan to improve the quality of education and standard of school facilities in Middletown, RI. In partnership with DBVW Architects, HMFH created a plan to consolidate grades PK-1 in an early education center and relocate grades 2-5 to the former high school building, which will be renovated and outfitted for elementary-level education, fostering equity across the district.

 

A primary goal driving the design is the creation of separate identities for the middle and high school to cultivate a learning environment suited for each age group. Leveraging a significant drop in elevation across the site, the design includes entrances for each population—middle schoolers enter via the first floor from the west, and high schoolers enter via the second floor from the east. Separate academic wings for each age group further support the distinction between middle and high school, replicating the experience of two separate schools within a single facility. A glassy central core containing dining areas, a media center, performance spaces, and athletic facilities creates a bright and welcoming place for gathering, socializing, and community use.

State-of-the-art learning spaces with flexible furniture and modern technologies facilitate STEAM-driven education, collaboration, and hands-on project work. Clusters of classrooms, labs, and support spaces surround a central project area to form learning communities within the school. Lightwells intersect each project area, bringing natural light deep within the building footprint. The design creates expanded opportunities for career technical education (CTE) with shops and labs grouped by discipline. These spaces are seamlessly integrated with traditional academic classrooms to highlight the critical role of CTE in holistic education.