What does a 21st century middle school education look like in Houston Texas? River Oaks Baptist looked to partner with Jackson and Ryan Architects to step outside their comfort zone and to look at how middle school education can happen. The result is a building that supports River Oaks Baptist's efforts at maximizing student engagement, interdisciplinary study, active learning and flexibility for teacher and student alike. Where a child can research in a maker space, just as easily as they can in the library. Where a Blue Box theatre becomes a middle school focused flexible theater. Where classrooms, meeting rooms, maker spaces and lounge spaces are all equally valuable parts of the grade-level Learning Community, that creates a home base for each learner. Where green space is limited to a restricted urban site, and yet outdoor green space is available to all.
The project also includes a new Leadership Center for administration and students alike, that serves as a link to the existing facility and provides a new front door to the school, plus an underground parking garage. This is the most recent phase of the projects completed by Jackson & Ryan Architects on the River Oaks Baptist School campus and the most progressive one yet.