Oyster River Cooperative School District
Oyster River Middle School
Primary & Intermediate Schools
Located near the University of New Hampshire, Oyster River Cooperative School District’s new 700-student middle school in Durham, NH serves students and families of the towns of Durham, Madbury, and Lee, NH. The new Oyster River Middle School houses grades 5-7 in a team-teaching environment, and focuses on achieving success in the areas of academics, sustainability, safety, and wellness.
Since the size of the previous site was limited, the new 146,900 SF school is an efficient 4 stories. The new school surrounds two large skylights and light wells that deliver natural light down to the first floor. The lower levels are dedicated shared school spaces, while the upper levels contain small learning neighborhoods for each team that feature flexible common areas, breakout spaces, and integrated resources for Special Education.
The entry level is organized around the central learning commons that 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 supports the District’s music program and features a 3-sided balcony that overlooks the central performance floor.
The site and school are designed to meet Net-Positive Energy criteria with on-site renewable energy in the form 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 LEED Gold certified.