The school district of Middletown, N.Y., had a specific goal in mind when they renovated the local high school and built a brand-new middle school: to increase graduation rates and make the Middletown school district nationally competitive. The project for both schools was approximately $96 million combined in cost and included state-of-the-art technology advances, from classroom updates to science laboratories and a collaborative learning area.
One of the main features of the high school renovation was a cutting-edge central innovation lab designed to fit into the existing, underused interior courtyard space. KG+D Architects conceptualized the lab with high ceilings, clerestory windows and a wide open space for students and teachers. In order to bring the space up to code while meeting aesthetic goals, the design team selected Technical Glass Products’ award-winning Fireframes ClearView System for the interior walls of the computer lab.
The 60-minute fire-rated system is made of butt-glazed Pilkington Pyrostop, a low-iron, fire-rated and impact safety-rated glass, with Fireframes Heat Barrier Series perimeter framing. Its narrow butt-glazed joints allow for virtually unobstructed transitions between the adjoining pieces of fire-rated glass for views into and out of the computer lab. This configuration produces a light-filled computer room for students, with greater vision and transparency. Integrated within the system are Fireframes Designer Series double doors, which complete the space.
The advanced innovation computer lab is only one of the features of the newly renovated Middletown High School. Throughout the school’s corridor walls and stairwells, fire-rated glass adds visibility and openness in areas typically requiring a vision-obscuring fire wall. There are also collaboration suites with multi-colored chairs swiveling around high-tech work stations. Many of the rooms have sixteen foot long LCD panels with smart-glass technology. “It’s the most advanced technology you’ll find in a high school today,” Middletown Superintendent Ken Eastwood said in an article by Middletown’s Record Online.
The newly updated computer lab with TGP’s Fireframes ClearView System, along with smaller breakout spaces and new classroom wings, is already helping students in a district where 63 percent are eligible for free lunch. “It’s been purposeful to build out that look and feel of poverty, and the kids have responded to it in droves,” Eastwood said in the Record Online. “They now think, ‘Wow, I have that available to me and I can do these types of things.”
To learn more about TGP’s advanced Fireframes ClearView System, and other TGP fire-rated products, visit www.fireglass.com.
Project: Middletown High School
Location: Middletown, New York
Architect: KG+D Architects