Location: Seward, Alaska
Client: Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Market Sectors: Education
The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s new Seward Middle School, opened in January 2006, is the result of an extensive Workshop process involving administrators, faculty, staff, and community members. It is designed to serve 250 students in grades seven and eight with a new generation middle school curriculum.
The school is centered on an “Auditeria,” a clerestory lighted space that serves as a commons, cafeteria, and performance space for the adjacent Stage/Performing Arts Classroom. The Performing Arts Classroom is separated from the Auditeria by an operable acoustical partition that can be opened, providing additional back space for the thrust stage. Clerestory windows allow natural light to flood into this two story space which is also the primary circulation space for the school.
The new facility provides an academic “mini-school” cluster for each of the two grade levels with a shared media center situated between them. The classrooms are organized around a project lab suitable for large groups and are equipped with 28 computer stations and digital projection capabilities.
The building is oriented so the main entry catches the morning sun and the majority of classrooms have a spectacular view to the mountains across the valley. A prow-like main entry canopy with a mast reflects Seward’s nautical heritage as do the “Percent for Art” cast stone panels depicting leaping silver salmon on the building fascia.