Oak Hill Middle School
Acting upon the analysis and recommendations contained in Gene Raymond’s 1994 district-wide master plan study, the City of Newton engaged Strekalovsky Hoit Raymond architects to simultaneously design and oversee the additions and programmatic parity upgrades at the Brown and Day Middle Schools, as well as the conversion of the former Oak Hill Elementary school into the city’s fourth middle school.  Because of unsuitable soil conditions, a previous single-story addition had been constructed on pilings and a structural slab.  We evaluated the slab and pilings for suitability to accommodate a two-story classroom wing and determined that with careful planning, we could support our rear cluster addition on top of the existing slab and save the city substantial time and money.  A new specialist classroom wing was added to the front of the school and sloped roofs were used to blend the new construction in with the original 1930’s-era school.  New ‘flat roofed’ core facilities such as the gymnasium, locker rooms, cafeteria, kitchen, auditorium, and media center are tucked between the two classroom wings, maintaining the school’s pleasant neighborhood scale even though its footprint was expanded 400% beyond that of the original building.  Six classrooms were added inside an existing three-story courtyard at Day Middle, and across the street, a second-floor was added over an existing roof, along with a two story classroom addition at Brown Middle.  A traffic roundabout was installed at the street intersection between Oak Hill & Brown.