Public gets first look at new middle school

By Kim Robins - Posted on Jul 11, 2012 - 01:52 PM

Photo: While what remains of tornado-ravaged Page Middle School is being demolished and removed, the Gloucester School Board is reviewing the preliminary plans for its replacement. The new, two-story school will reflect a more modern approach to education. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

While what remains of tornado-ravaged Page Middle School is being demolished and removed, the Gloucester School Board is reviewing the preliminary plans for its replacement. The new, two-story school will reflect a more modern approach to education. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

Architects with RRMM gave the public their first look at the proposed design for Gloucester’s newest public school during the Gloucester County School Board meeting Tuesday. The new, two-story facility to be built on T. C. Walker Road will replace Page Middle School, which was partially destroyed by a tornado in April of last year and is currently undergoing final demolition.

School division superintendent Ben Kiser said the new $26 million school lends "a chance to break the mold" of traditional school design and create a campus that would best accommodate integrated curriculum, project-based learning, and collaborative teaching and learning. He said the facility would be "a state-of-the-art, world-class school that will not replicate any school we have now."

The design holds three, two-story "grade houses" or wings, with one each for sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Each floor holds four core classrooms, all with a glass wall along the corridor. Each also has a teacher workroom and small conference room. The first floor of each wing has a large, exploratory learning area and a science lab across from the classrooms. All of this area is open to the second floor above.