Reeds Spring Middle School

  • area / size 80,000 sqft
  • Completed 2017
  • Dake Wells Architecture designed Reeds Spring Middle School to utilize the surrounding nature for form and function in Reeds Spring, Missouri.

    The heavily wooded site and steep topography were preserved to allow this state of the art school to seemingly emerge from the landscape. A competition gymnasium and a 1,000 seat auditorium are buried in the hillside, secured with a 480’ long retaining wall, and topped with a vegetated roof for maximum storm safety in this tornado prone area. A three-story classroom wing lines the trees and has operable glass walls, charging stations and collaboration spaces to connect students to each other and to the world. A cascading stair in the three-story atrium flows through the center of the building and attracts occupants for informal learning, social activities and lunch time. The design accommodates the districts push for state of the art technology integration, collaborative learning environments, and tornado safety all in one facility.

    The school board’s goal was to rethink the design of middle schools, and to create a “learning” building that challenged the way students engaged with each other and their environment. Walls are transparent and operable, allowing the building to be transformed for team teaching and student projects. Outdoor classrooms are extensions of indoor collaboration spaces, allowing students to choose the environment that’s right for them. And a three-story atrium connects all three floors of the building, allowing students to connect with their peers and the community. A series of vertical wood slats inspired by the trees beyond provides added safety to the atrium edge. This wood wall acts as a veil allowing ample daylight deep into classrooms while minimizing the apparent openness to floors below. This dynamic learning building is a place where creative ideas flow and critical thinking rises. It not only inspires the students and teachers within, it has created excitement and enthusiasm throughout the community.

    ArchitectDake Wells Architecture
    Design Team: Brandon Dake, FAIA; Matt Thornton, AIA; Kirk Dillon, Assoc. AIA; Bethany Henry, AIA; Amy L. E. Wiley, AIA; Shane Algiere, Assoc. AIA
    Photography: Gayle Babcock