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Hallie Wells Middle School

Clarksburg, Maryland

client

Montgomery County Public Schools

size

154,400 sf, 870 students

certification

LEED Gold

type

New Construction

The most recent in a long line of successful middle school prototypes for Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS), Hallie Wells is the culmination of 20 years of design refinement and collaboration. Named for a generous local benefactor, it’s traditional brick and mortar façade features a classic country schoolhouse steeple, recalling Clarksburg’s agrarian past, imitating its older structures, and incorporating the traditional aesthetic of the surrounding community.

Inside however, Hallie Wells has been reorganized to maximize transparency and implement MCPS’ team-based clusters and teaching philosophy to better suit evolving best practices in Middle School education.

Hallie Wells’ multi-story floorplan is a staple of the MCPS approach to Middle School programming, maximizing construction value while enhancing the MCPS educators' approach to middle school educational philosophy. The three-story design facilitates team teaching that clusters grade levels by floor allowing the educators to create developmentally appropriate, grade specific content—granting identity and comfort to the unique 6th, 7th, and 8th grade curricula.

This middle school prototype has been flexing and adapting to MCPS's needs for over two decades, with Takoma Park MS, then Rocky Hill MS and Lakelands MS, and most recently at Hallie Wells MS. Material palette, character, and orientation has changed over time to fit each community's identity.

A Bright Center

Glass has been maximized, creating lighter, brighter interiors more easily observed, increasing visibility without compromising student health and safety.

Closing Thoughts

By optimizing orientation and squeezing some spaces while opening others, Hallie Wells has reinvented itself to suit MCPS’ changing philosophies, evolving as its users’ needs evolve, all while remaining true to the design that has served them for two decades.

Awards

Masonry Craftsmanship Excellence Award

Mid-Atlantic Masonry Association