Fairforest Middle School, Spartanburg School District 6
Fairforest Middle School replaced the old middle school in Fairforest, SC. The 225,000 SF facility fosters STEAM based curriculum to 1100 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. The design supports flexible learning, easy wayfinding in a safe and secure environment.
The site of the new middle school was home to a school built in 1953 during segregation. The design pays homage to the progressive mid-century modern school and contains a special tribute to the final graduating class of 1970. The new school represents best practices for 21st century education while honoring the 20th century legacy by naming its science center planetarium after the historic school.
Specific design features keep the students safe with fewer resources. A cross axis design allows clear lines of sight and aides daily navigation. The secure entry vestibule directs visitors through the administrative suite and cross-corridor accordion fire doors are activated in life-threating situations.
Flexible learning commons and outdoor courtyards are accessible to each grade community. The arts community offers a compliment of spaces for each fine and related arts discipline. The 1,200-seat gymnasium and cafeteria with a presentation platform opens to a spacious lobby.
An exciting highlight of the school is the 108-seat planetarium that accommodates graphics and scientific displays and can show star positions and constellations from any date over the past 100,000 years. The space is also available for other events and district-wide use. The planetarium welcomes interaction with the school’s programming and encourages family engagement with student learning.
The design includes sustainable features like energy-efficient HVAC systems, LED lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and large windows and clerestories with tinted, low-e glazing. We also used low-VOC paint and low-maintenance finishes with high recycled-content like terrazzo and stained concrete in many spaces.
Awarded: Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) SC Chapter, Excellence Citation Award for Community Engagement