Crocker Middle School, Tech, Music and Classroom Building
Located on the northern edge of the Crocker Middle School campus, the new 11,712 square foot Tech, Music & Classroom Building includes a 100-seat lecture hall, computer classrooms, staff offices, a television production classroom, and a band rehearsal space. The building offers a place where music, technology, and computer sciences can mix under one roof, fostering the cross-pollination of ideas. The classrooms are designed for flexibility with various seating configurations. Power and data service at each table accommodate laptop computers, and instructors have access to projector screens, white boards, and smart tablet technology. The band room is designed to accommodate various-sized ensembles from small jazz groups to the full 100-seat symphony. Large operable windows provide ample daylight and natural ventilation to all classrooms. Designed as a sensitive addition to the Crocker Middle School campus, the new building supports existing pathways that connect the upper and lower portions of the campus with one another. The building’s walkways stitch the campus together with a second-floor bridge to an existing classroom building and through an at-grade breezeway that joins the new courtyard to a play area. By extending the existing walkway system, the new structure uses circulation as a major architectural expression. Stepped into a hillside, the new structure takes advantage of the grade change to integrate the large volume of the band room into the site.
A simple material palette of stained wood siding, cement plaster, and painted concrete columns was chosen to help blend with existing buildings and respond to its heavily wooded site. The building’s unpainted wood complements its neighbors and will acquire a patina over time. Great care was taken in material choices focusing on indoor air quality and regional considerations. Low-VOC materials like linoleum and plant-based woven textile fabric were used, and now inform the District’s standards. Lo- maintenance and drought-tolerant plants provide an opportunity to teach students about the region and climate conditions. The project was designed per Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS) guidelines.