Thurgood Marshall Middle School
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 1920s-era Thurgood Marshall Middle School. A detailed study of potential sites within the city ensued and RDA was able to design a wonderful 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 individual academic clusters of 120 pupils.  Each color-coded cluster is a dead end off a centrally-located vertical wayfinding core, assuring a sense of ownership and pride since pupils from other clusters have no reason to walk through.  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.