Hamilton Middle/High School

Location: Hamilton, NY

Completed: 2023

Program: Large Group Instruction, Library, Family and Consumer Science classroom

Construction Type: Renovation

The Hamilton Central School District is part of a small community where their singular 150,000 square foot school building houses grades K-12. The design team was tasked with the renovation of four outdated spaces: the LGI (Large Group Instruction), Library, FACS (Family and Consumer Science) classroom, and locker room area. These were original to the building and uninviting to students. The state of the spaces was highly limiting the potential of the students using them. The district’s vision was to create visually open student-centered spaces that provide an engaging flexible backdrop for learning.

From the beginning, the biggest challenge was working with the inadequately sized rooms. The design team went to work, partnering with the district to identify underutilized adjacent spaces to expand into. These four major spaces needed to remain in their original locations within the building and ultimately could only expand into a few select adjacent spaces. The enlarged rooms paired with new open layouts are conducive to modern collaborative learning. The selection of furniture was key to maximizing versatility. There are a variety seating types and zones that can comfortably sit one to six plus students. The design team spent many hours reviewing and refining furniture with the district. Each piece is multi-functional enhancing the flexibility of the new spaces. To achieve a more visually open look, exterior windows and interior glazing were added throughout. Having an outdoor connection creates a more inviting and comfortable environment for everyone. The natural light flooding into the building showcases the vibrant new finishes. Where it was once a sea of beige, now sports green in every direction you look. There’s no mistaking being at the Hamilton CSD. Having a strong scene of school pride brings students together and promotes group work.

The newly designed spaces provide students and staff with a bright, clean, and uplifting environment in comparison to the buildings prior to construction. Through this project and future renovation work, the dated building is evolving into a fun, welcoming, exciting place that the students want to spend time in. The design team took on the challenging limitations of the renovation and seamlessly incorporated student centric designs in spaces that now support multiple functions throughout the day.