Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD Middle School Media Center and Cafetorium

Burnt Hills, New York

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD Middle School Media Center and Cafetorium

Burnt Hills, New York

The Richard O’Rourke Middle School cafetorium and media center project addressed outdated facilities and insufficient space for the school’s growing student body. Four existing classrooms were expanded onto the lawn to create a 4,500-square-foot media center to house the stacks of the existing second-floor library and 30 wireless computer workstations. Flexible space with an operable wall facilitates project-based learning and teamwork, allowing small and large groups of students to share the center as a hub for instruction, meetings and research.

The north-facing side of the room defines the school’s public presence with a curved glass curtain wall surrounded by three walls of clerestory windows. The glass offers natural day-lighting during school hours and paints an inviting picture of evening events for those approaching from the main road.

Room for the whole school

Until the renovation, the middle school cafetorium had been the school’s largest room, but it could accommodate only one grade level of pupils at a time, making it impossible to gather the student body – at the time 825 students – for assemblies or events. Mosaic expanded the room out the back 3,800 square feet, creating a new kitchen, a bleacher area and a stage for the drama and music departments’ rehearsals and performances. The stage area includes new sound, acoustic, lighting and fly systems and storage for costumes and sets.

The second-floor library was converted to classrooms, and two more were added on the first floor, for a net gain of three classrooms. The band room and an adjoining hallway were also redesigned, adding 250 much-needed student lockers.

For more about projects at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District, see School design for a new century.

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