Hollis+Miller Architects
Mill Creek Middle School

Mill Creek Middle School
DeSoto, KS

Mill Creek Middle School is located in one of the fastest growing School Districts in Kansas. The 40-acre site fosters shared use of amenities and is adjacent to a community nature trail. The site includes plans to add a District Activity Complex and High School and fosters shared use of amenities. To encourage personalization, the 750 student population is broken into three Neighborhoods each with their own personalized entry, and consisting of 10 classrooms arranged around a Flexible Learning Core.

The design succeeds because it focuses on Curriculum, Personalization, Collaborative Learning, and Flexibility. A collaborative approach resulted in Character Statements that represent the District’s most critical concepts for design and relate to overall District Vision.

The Neighborhood Cores are collaborative learning environments that include Activity Areas with presentation and wet areas, Small Group Alcoves, Resource Room, and two Conference Rooms. The Activity Areas glass operable wall allow learning activities to be observed, displayed and each Neighborhood to be opened promoting community among Neighborhoods and for community use after-hours. The "Thin Client" remote computing system allows for district-wide wireless access.

The environment is filled with day-light, warm, family/community friendly and personal. The singular welcoming entry serves as a focal point and allows the front desk a clear view of the building entrance. After school begins, doors from the vestibule are locked so that all visitors must walk through the reception area. Bus and parent drive loops are separate while still directing students to the main entry & commons plaza which also serves as an outdoor learning space.

The Activity Areas, Media Center, Commons, and Gym can all be used simultaneously for District Wide Staff Development Training or by Community Retreats/Seminars.

A Volunteer Work Area fosters effective involvement. All the public restrooms are accessible from both the Neighborhoods and the primary corridor serving many of the public spaces.

115,000 sq. ft.

Construction Cost:

De Soto Unified School District No. 232

JE Dunn