The West Valley Middle School was designed in conjunction with Architects West to relieve overcrowding for both the elementary schools and the junior high
school by creating a school that would provide classrooms for the 6th and 7th grades. The 106,000-square-foot, 900-student
facility was sited adjacent to the West Valley Junior High School to take advantage of combined athletic fields, student
drop-off areas and vehicle parking. The overall design concept of a “school within a school” was developed by working
with the Educational Specification Committee. The idea was to provide a core activity area surrounded by six general
classrooms, two science rooms, a teacher planning area and restrooms. The core area was designed to allow the teaching
staff the flexibility to provide instruction in art, home economics, team teaching and other activities that would enhance
the instructional possibilities for the teachers. The “school within a school” concept was to provide a means for the students
and the staff to be able to identify with a singular teaching area within the larger school. The teaching pods would
allow students a platform to build friendships with other students and staff and reduce the isolation that large schools
tend to create thus helping students to learn and teachers to teach.
In addition to the four classroom pods the facility included a central Learning Resource Center, Vocational Classrooms,
Student Commons, Band Rooms, and a Gymnasium/Locker Room and other support service spaces.