Ashe County Middle School has a strong sense of community, serving as both a gathering place for community events as well as a learning environment designed to best support the needs of the student population.
The existing community fosters a sense of belonging for all students through a collection of CTE programs, clubs, sports, and a Wall of Awesome to showcase student work. The existing school building has served the population well for many years, but a new future-focused learning environment will support students for with flexibility for years to come in a new building on a relocated campus, adjacent to the county high school.The design of the new building connects all of the program elements along one main corridor that connects the larger gathering spaces – such as the Gym and Dining spaces – through a new, full Hall of Awesome – celebrating CTE, arts and music programs – leading to the classroom wing. The classroom wing will be three stories, one for each grade level. Each grade level will form three teams, and each of these teams will be composed of four classrooms that open into a flexible collaboration space. The collaboration spaces facilitate various sized groups of students to break out and explore project-based learning. All of the collaboration spaces in the classroom wing open onto the media center.Through a monumental stair and terraced-seating stair, the presence of the media center spans all three floors and grade levels, tying the entire student population together. The multiple levels have been strategically organized to work with the site grades to also have direct access to the outdoors. The building will incorporate the principles of sustainable design and strategies which support flexibility and student focused learning environments.