2015 — North Belton Middle School

Belton ISD—North Belton Middle School

This is a new middle school facility for a rapidly growing suburban school district. Originally conceived as a resite, the school was designed as an original plan to address growth and changing needs.


  • New MS engages an expanding community with potential to be a focal point for future growth
  • Material use and aesthetic influenced by nearby medical center and elementary school
  • Extended learning spaces foster collaboration within each grad
  • Pod organization fosters communities within student body


  • School is organized around a central core, with highly flexible spaces and creative circulation
  • The Core consists of: Open Library; Genius Bar; Living Room; Double Sided Stage; Cafeteria
  • School separated into Pods: Academic, Fine Arts, Athletics. Each Pod is self-sufficient with all necessary spaces

Stars of Distinction Planning

  • Project goals were to: Create a compact and efficient design; Bring library to the center of the school; Create self-contained grade level pods; Create separate areas for activities; Respond to unique site conditions
  • Several concepts generated, evaluated and combined
  • Two day on-site work, getting feedback and evaluation in real-time from the faculty and administrators


  • N/S Orientation
  • Natural Lighting throughout
  • Use of Local Stone and Durable Materials
  • Three Functional Courtyards – Two between the pods, and third outside the cafeteria
  • High reflectivity roofs, high-performance glass, efficient HVAC, native landscaping
  • Plentiful bike racks


  • Major Functional Spaces within Core and Pods double as circulation
  • Core has multiple functions both during and after school hours due to ability to isolate any of the pods from the Core
  • Full Stadium cost savings achieved on project (press booth, concessions, stands)
  • Sustainability features lowering operating cost – 50% lower per sq. ft than other district facilities
  • Advantageous location positions the MS to serve current student population and able to handle future growth of ISD

School Transformation

  • Library/Genius bar become hubs and circulation through the academic parts of the building
  • The stage is double-sided and equipped to simultaneously serve both directions as separate spaces
  • The living room can function as an extension of the stage; small presentation seating; extra seating for Genius bar; or operate as flex space for various collaborative work
  • The Pod Commons adapt hallways of class pods into functional space for students to collaborate and for expanded teaching space

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner