Kaneland Harter Middle School

Sugar Grove, Illinois

Kaneland CUSD 302 commissioned RuckPate Architecture to design a second middle school to address accelerated population growth throughout the surrounding municipalities this District serves. The design responds to Kaneland's team-based middle school teaching model, offering a variety of traditional and exploratory programs in a 5-core curriculum format for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students.

In keeping with District 302's long-range plan, RuckPate developed a prototype design for Kaneland 302's 200+ acre parcel bounded by Route 47 and Harter Road. A future new high school is also planned for this site. RuckPate's goal was to create a comprehensive, flexible plan which could be cost-effectively adapted and duplicated on another site to accommodate projected future increases in student enrollment.

The design promotes a community feel within the school and encourages student mentoring, incorporating wireless technology throughout the building to allow for optimum flexibility. Separate entrances for students, visitors, and after-hours access provide better security and more efficient traffic flow. The design also takes advantage of natural light and landscape views. Responding to the District's strong Fine Arts program, the design incorporates a unique 'art gallery' concept, in which framed student artwork and 3-D pieces have a prominent role both on the school interior hallways and in display cases throughout the building.

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