The new Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School establishes a new standard of 21st century school design. It is flexible with an inward academic plan that provides teachers and administrators multiple ways to organize and engage students; by floor, by grade or by team.
Using the natural topography of the surrounding area as a guide, the design resulted in a 3-story, split-level facility that allows the middle level to become the main social floor of the school where spontaneous interaction between students can occur. The planning incorporates Small Learning Communities (SLCs) consisting of three core classrooms, one science classroom, and one specialty classroom. Each SLC seamlessly connects to the main corridor of the school adding to the engaging student experience. Each SLC also includes administration strategically located throughout the school giving students real-time interaction with both teachers and counselors. The corridor design facilitates a diverse social connection for students from floor to floor while also allowing the north indirect daylight to penetrate deeper into all levels of the school including entry lobbies, student academic team areas, the cafeteria as well as the media center. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School is an example of how the Collaborative of High Performing School (CHPS) standards can be successfully incorporated within a school system.