Thurgood Marshall Middle School
5 April 2016
in grades 6-8
four-story, new school on a tight urban site
The project is LEED Gold Certified and was completed under budget and four months ahead of schedule. RDA was selected to work with the City of Lynn and the MSBA in 2012 to identify the best solution for the replacement of the existing 1920’s-era Thurgood Marshall Middle School. A detailed study of potential sites within the city ensued and RDA was able to design a state-of-the-art new middle school on a site only two blocks from the existing school – a site that had previously been assumed to be too long and narrow for a school. The four-story school is constructed on a pile foundation system and makes use of a building envelope designed to mitigate noise from passing commuter trains right outside the second floor windows. This 1,100 pupil middle school was laid out with 9 team-teaching clusters of 120 pupils. Each color-coded cluster is a ‘dead end’ off a centrally located ‘vertical wayfinding core’, assuring segregated Small Learning Communities. Pupils from other clusters have no reason to walk through other clusters. Core facilities are located on the first floor, including a unique two-sided stage serving both the Cafetorium and Gymnasium which is sized to seat the entire school community at once – an ability that the school never had, and one of its favorite features.