Oyster River Cooperative School District
Oyster River Middle School

K-12 Education:
Primary & Intermediate Schools

Construction is well under way for Oyster River Cooperative School District’s new 700-student middle school in Durham, NH. Located near the UNH campus, the school will serve the families of the towns of Durham, Madbury, and Lee, NH, and will house grades 5-7 in a team-teaching environment. The project specifically focuses on achieving success in the areas of academics, sustainability, safety, and wellness.

Since the size of the existing site is limited, the new 146,900 SF school will be an efficient 4 stories. The new school will surround two large skylights and light wells that will deliver natural light down to the first floor. The lower levels will be dedicated shared school spaces, while the upper levels will contain small learning neighborhoods for each team. Each learning neighborhood will feature a flexible common area with breakout spaces and integrated resources for Special Education.

The entry level is organized around the central learning commons that will serve as a dining, reading, and community gathering space. The Library, Arts, STEM, and Fitness programs all open into the commons with opportunities for visible learning and student project display. A new 900-seat recital hall will support the District’s music program, featuring a 3-sided balcony that overlooks the central performance floor.

The site and school are being designed to meet Net-Positive Energy criteria with on-site renewable energy in the forms of a 70-borehole geothermal heating/cooling system, solar hot water, and photovoltaic arrays on the roofs and over a parking lot to produce electricity. The goal is a building that makes as much energy as it uses in order to offset its environmental footprint, and it is currently on track to generate 120% more energy than it uses. The project is currently targeting LEED Gold certification.

Estimated completion of the new school is slated for summer 2022.