A huge part of the design and planning for our new Middle School is driven by the teachers. Their input is cataloged in a process known as Educational Specifications or Ed Specs. Created in an ongoing process that will continue through the summer, Ed Specs involve the NAC architecture team systematically meeting with all of the school stakeholders and taking input. The teachers are the main focus of this process, as they are most knowledgeable about what they need in order to successfully achieve their educational goals, but they are NOT the only group involved. In addition to the teachers, the architects will be taking input from students, administrators, special services, and the public over the coming weeks.
Ed Specs serve two main purposes. First, they generate a kind of ‘ingredients’ list of needed space (The architects call it a space map). This will include the number of classrooms, number of specialty classrooms (like science or music rooms that have different requirements than a ‘standard’ classroom), number of programs, etc. The second (and more fun) part of the Ed Spec process involves the creation of a list of wants/needs/dreams that we all would like to see included in the new school. Of course, not all suggestions can be accommodated (one student requested an Olympic-sized swimming pool), but as the process continues, the lists will be analyzed and compared for financial feasibility, prioritization, educational value, etc.. All of this is done with the goal of creating a final Ed Spec document that the architects will use as a road map to the best school we can build for our community.
Architects talking to a middle school class and getting their suggestions.
Here’s the list of ‘wants’ for the new middle school generated by student discussion.