Elementary School District 159

Colin Powell Middle School

The design of Colin Powell Middle School responds to the School District’s vision to provide a progressive symbol of education for its students and community.  The school houses grades levels 6-8 and is organized to accommodate a learning environment is that open and collaborative.

The school is conceived as an open plan that is sensitive to its natural surroundings. Classrooms are grouped into three triangular wings oriented in response to site features, solar orientation, views, and optimum internal circulation patterns for each grade level.  Informal / common learning spaces for students occur at the apex of each triangular wing, and provide open supportive space for students and faculty to interact, collaborate, and learn outside of the traditional classroom environment.

Courtyards, incorporated within the school, allow nature to visually penetrate into the building through glass-enclosed corridors, while also allowing daylight and views into internal areas of the building.  The courtyards also serve as outdoor educational spaces, accessed from common areas, Library, and Resource Center.

Project Data
Location Matteson, Illinois
Size 122,000 sf
Completed 2007
Photographer Steinkamp Photography

Greg Spitzer served as the Lead Designer for this project while working at Legat Architects.