George E. Hopper, Jr. Middle School is a prototype middle school built to house 1,350 students with a compact and efficient design that allows for minimization of student travel distances between class changes. The organization of this plan allows for easy orientation of whereabouts in the facility. The administration and cafeteria on the first floor and library on the second floor are the central focus of the compact school. The cafeteria is surrounded by two (2) interior paved courtyards that allow natural light into classrooms. A courtyard serves as a student area during the lunch period and the other is reserved for art activities and displays.
This project was revised using Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) due to an accelerated schedule. Due to district growth, this project was moved forward one year ahead of schedule. The CMAR method allowed this project’s design schedule to be accelerated by 1.5 months and the construction schedule by three months.
Hopper Middle School’s design utilized various sustainable features to allow for ease of maintenance for facility staff and comfort of students and administrators. Design elements include aluminum door frames which limited the painting required onsite and therefore lessened VOCs. Offsite off-gasing of carpet and built-in furniture was also performed, and the carpet uses factory applied adhesive to reduce VOCs. Porcelain tile floors were placed throughout the interior to reduce the use of chemicals needed to clean floors.