J. Henry Higgins Middle School Featured In 2018 Architectural Portfolio Honoring Education Design Excellence

DiNisco Design, Inc. announces that J. Henry Higgins Middle School, Peabody, Massachusetts has been selected for publication in lnforma’s American School & University® 2018 Architectural Portfolio. The project is featured in the November/December 2018 edition of the magazine and also online at www.SchoolDesigns.com. An annual competition honoring education design excellence, the Architectural Portfolio spotlights projects representing today’s most effective learning environments.

An antiquated, multi-level 50-year old building that could not support a modern middle school program needed to be replaced. The building had no sense of arrival or administrative presence and was saddled with functional problems. The replacement school was built adjacent to the existing school prior to its demolition. The new facility is organized into two wings, academic and core facilities, separated by courtyards. It benefits from transparency for views and daylighting, such as art rooms that overlook one courtyard. The windows are a significant design feature; connecting the building to its 38-acre site, surrounded on two sides by wetlands. Its solar orientation optimizes daylighting, notably in the library, cafeteria, and music classrooms. The three-story academic wing contains core classrooms; each grade on its own floor, with five classroom clusters per grade. Each cluster consists of four classrooms and one science classroom. Public and interactive spaces such as the gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium, music, library, and school administration are situated in a Core Facilities Wing. Student drop-off and pick-up were expedited by having two site entrances.

A jury of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education members and education administrators evaluated submissions from architectural firms, schools, and universities across the country. One hundred sixteen projects were chosen for publication in AS&U, an educational facilities, purchasing and business administration magazine reaching 57,000 facility planners, school and university administrators, and architects with this issue. This is the competition’s 36th year.

Awarded projects exhibited clarity of concept, innovation, and creativity in response to the specifics of program, users, community, and site. Other considered criteria included: clarity of idea, sense of place/atmosphere, unique identity, healthful interior environment, anticipates user needs, security, flexibility/adaptability, pushing envelope, suited to community, and economy.

More information about the Architectural Portfolio, including a complete list of 2018 projects selected for publication, is available on American School & University’s www.SchoolDesigns.com Web site, or by contacting Molly Roudebush, senior marketing manager, at 1-(913) 967-1959 or mroudebush@ASUmag.com.

Founded in 1928, American School & University is devoted exclusively to education facilities/business administration. The authority for information about the educational facilities market, AS&U delivers an insightful combination of exclusive reports, special focuses and how-to articles. For more information, please visit www.ASUmag.com and www.SchoolDesigns.com. American School & University is published by Informa.