Miller Middle School

The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (SMCISD) in Texas is committed to ensuring the success of all its students. Perkins&Will’s Austin studio was tapped to renovate over 39,000 square feet of the existing buildings at Miller Middle School and expand its facilities with a 37,000 square foot addition. The architecture and design focuses on the intersection of science and art to support the school’s mission and showcase the community’s desire for modernization. Perkins&Will conceptualized an efficient space that provides students with an engaging and inspiring learning environment that promotes equity across the middle schools in the district. 

The team drew inspiration from higher education facilities as they transformed the school to suit older students. Placing the addition in front of the existing building created an opportunity to modulate the first impression. A new facade provides space for those needs as well as modernizing and elevating the exterior. The Perkins&Will team emphasized the library, using it as a central hub to create a seamless flow of space to the surrounding classrooms, labs, and performing arts space accessible from the library's upper level.

Visible from the exterior, a glass-encased prism in the library encapsulates the school’s mission. The intersection of science and art is expressed in this focal point, whose shape echoes mathematical principles and the geometry that makes up our entire world. The student commons, science and art labs, and performing arts spaces branch off from this central core. Both the articulation of shape and color are a nod to the science of color and light. Accents of cyan, magenta, and yellow reflect the overlapping of the colors that create light. The same bright colors differentiate the classroom corridors for each grade level, easing wayfinding and reinforcing the design language established by the prism at the heart of the campus. 

The team created spaces for interaction and collaboration that highlight modern and diverse ways of teaching and learning. Small breakout spaces are ideal for students to work more closely with teachers and peers along the main corridor.  The new addition created a secure, centralized courtyard to allow for students to enjoy outdoor space adjacent to the new library and the existing cafeteria. Semi-protected outdoor spaces serve as additional classroom areas to allow students more access to fresh air without worrying about security.

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Status: Built
Location: San Marcos, TX, US