Hazel Point & Boulder Peak Intermediate

Marion, Iowa
  • Client
    Linn Mar Community School District
  • SQ. FT.
    115,000 (each)
  • Budget
    56,000,000 (total)
  • Market
  • Year

In 2018, voters in the Linn-Mar school district approved a $55 million bond referendum to construct two intermediate school buildings — Boulder Peak and Hazel Point for the districts fifth- and sixth-graders. Following the completion of the new schools, elementary schools now serve kindergarten through fourth grade and middle schools would serve seventh- and eighth-graders.

Each with the capacity for 800 students, the intermediate schools are identical.

Exterior materials combine low maintenance and durability with stone and brick creating a contrast between first and second stories, accented by dark metal panels around doors and windows. Large sections of glass highlight entrances as well as providing glimpses of different points of destination within the building from the exterior. This concept continues inside with the use of openings and glass visible from the main commons for students to visually connect with where they want to go.

The building design incorporates a neighborhood concept that breaks down the size of the building more appropriate for 5/6 grade students. Eight independent neighborhoods are stacked two per floor in two wings, organized around a core with music, art, a gymnasium, cafeteria, project rooms, and special education spaces including a sensory room.

Each neighborhood includes classrooms, lockers, restrooms, and collaboration areas that support flexible learning, while still allowing teachers to oversee student activities both in and out of the classrooms. Classrooms are arranged along the exterior walls with curtain walls creating healthy, day-lit spaces as well as general spatial awareness and a connection to the outdoors.

The neighborhoods are identified separately by a unique color palette and over-sized numerals. Bolder hues distinguish the active, collaboration spaces while toned-down shades of the same color are used to tie in the classrooms. The neighborhood colors all come together in shared student spaces such as the library. The district’s signature red promotes school pride in public and activity areas.

Hazel Point, located adjacent to an existing elementary school, and Boulder Peak, in a rapidly growing area of the community, are architecturally identical with a site design specific to each location. Both include separate vehicle drop-off/pick-up areas from bus circulation, outdoor green space and playground areas, as well as secured perimeters with access control and secured/visible main entries for safety.

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