Thurgood Marshall Middle School

Lynn, Massachusetts

April 2016

date completed

$67.7 M

Construction cost

1,100 pupils

in grades 6-8

181,850 sf

four-story, new school on a tight urban site


LEED Certification

MSBA Model 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 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 large urban middle school was broken down into 9 separate ‘Small Learning Communities’ of 120-pupils each, located off of a centrally located ‘vertical wayfinding core’. Each color-coded pod is its own private ‘cul-de-sac’ in which each pupil receives individualized attention from a dedicated team of core-subject educators. 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. This project is LEED Gold Certified and was completed under budget and four months ahead of schedule. 

Thurgood Marshall Middle School woodshop