The new Dickinson Ninth Grade Center was conceived to provide a home base for incoming freshman within an innovative and secure learning environment. The stand-alone facility was designed to accommodate the District’s current and continued need for growth with an anticipated enrollment of approximately 900 students and an allowable capacity of 1,795 ninth graders and administration.
The main entry with a covered walkway connection from the existing high school entrance leads students, staff and visitors to the interior focal point of the building: a large flex space that provides multi-purpose opportunities for dining, collaboration, socializing, and other group functions. Multiple outlets that lead to covered outdoor spaces are available for students to enjoy during lunch or after school while waiting for transportation from the adjacent bus and vehicle pick-up areas. With the Ninth Grade Center being in close proximity to the existing high school, meal service achieves optimal efficiency by having food prepared at the existing high school kitchen and then delivered to the new facility serving 450 students per period. Additionally, this proximity allows the aesthetics of the new building to mirror the existing campus with the use of similar materials and colors, further strengthening Dickinson’s signature blue. The two-story center houses a variety of learning spaces in the form of thirty classrooms, six science laboratories, and two art studios; all of which use instructional technology and are equipped with interactive short throw digital projectors, marker walls, tack walls, and wireless, as well as hard-wired, network systems. Moreover, technological innovations are incorporated to improve site safety, manage the movement of visitors, and enhance security with automated controls at building entrances.
This building provides a seamless transition to the main campus and serves to fulfill the District’s growing needs. The life of the high school as a whole has increased due to future adaptability to other grade levels and expansion opportunities presented by the addition of the new facility.