MICDS “cherishes academic rigor, encourages and praises meaningful individual achievement, and fosters virtue. They are “recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in independent education.” M+H Architects has enjoyed a great working relationship with MICDS since 1995, completing multiple projects as outlined below.
Olson Hall – New Administration & Classroom Building
MICDS desired to physically and historically link the upper and lower school campuses and provide a campus focal point. The new centerpiece to the campus, Olson Hall, helped achieve this. Consisting of 35,000 SF in a 2-story configuration, this Jeffersonian style structure combines central administration functions along with 20 additional upper school classroom spaces.
A new boulevard campus entry was created off the main roadway and internal connector roads were developed to keep school traffic within its own site. The buildings now form a barrier between the automobile areas and the outdoor sports fields. To solidify the connection, Olson Hall houses the campus administration with an all-school bookstore on the first floor. The second floor has classrooms for upper school Math and English, with a shared study space overlooking the entire campus. Students flow through both floors, using a common corridor, allowing interaction between upper school, lower school and administration. Vertical circulation is achieved through the stairs and elevator on the ends of the building.
McDonnell Athletic Center – New Athletic Facility
The school was in need of a major indoor sports practice facility for the upper school and physical education space for the lower school. McDonnell Athletic Center was developed to facilitate those needs. It consists of 86,000 square feet with three courts that can be configured for tennis, basketball or volleyball along with support spaces for training, P.E. staff and a fitness center. The space also provides a 200 meter indoor track, long-jump pit, pole-vault pit, triple-jump areas, drop-down batting cages and a lacrosse practice wall.
This adaptable space is divisible by drop-down divider curtains and accommodates after-hours sports practice for school teams. The entire sport floor of the athletic area is a synthetic multi-sport surface, allowing for mixed usage and flexibility.
As this facility has a very large footprint, it also can function as an indoor large gathering area for many of the school’s special events.
McCulloch and Bryant Halls – Art and Acting Department Renovation
The Art Department renovation on the lower level of McCulloch Hall includes a Sculpture Studio with kiln room, Paint Studio, a General Studio, Photo Studio with processing lab, Computer Lab, Architecture Studio and an Art History Classroom. With exterior windows on only one side, natural light and outdoor views from every studio were a primary goal. The organization of the space around a curving corridor lined with windows and tackable wall fabric emphasizes the openness of the space and showcases student’s work. Portions of the ceiling include exposed structure, bulkheads with track lighting, and acoustic baffles and clouds, which create layers of space that unfold the building structure.
The Acting and Music Practice Rooms on the lower level of Bryant Hall include an Acting Studio, Faculty Office with storage, prefabricated soundproof Practice Rooms, and props and scenery storage rooms. The Acting Studio was converted from space previously used as a wrestling practice room. The Practice Rooms are prefabricated, soundproof rooms ranging in size to accommodate two to five students. Each room has the capability of recording, including voice and data connections.
Alumni Dining Hall – Renovation & Expansion
Finished in time for the 2005 fall session, the renovation and expansion of Alumni Dining Hall incorporated and expansion of the dining facility from 200 seats to 325 seats. The original 1950’s building was renovated to include a new HVAC distribution system and ceiling. The existing north wall was opened up to the new addition with a ceiling mounted, double sided, motorized projection screen. The existing faculty dining room has been renovated with new millwork and lighting.
The new addition is constructed in the location of the former dining patio on the north side of the building. The exterior patio has been relocated to the side of the building to allow for the expansion. Special care was taken to ensure that the character of the existing building was maintained to respect the classical aesthetic of the campus.
Facility Assessment & Locker Room Renovation
M+H also performed a comprehensive Facility Assessment for MICDS and recently (2013) completed a 13,200 SF Locker Room renovation in the Upper School Gymnasium.
I know that I am receiving too much credit for these buildings. I was simply wise enough to pick the right architects. M+H Architects deserve the credit, and it continues to be a pleasure to work with you.
-Mr. Matthew E. Gossage, Former Head of School, MICDS