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Sanford Middle School – Minneapolis Public Schools

Minneapolis, MN

Reuse and Rejuvenate

It is a dynamic period of change for many school districts, as enrollments shift, buildings age, and 21st century learning styles become established. Miller Dunwiddie’s educational planners and designers work closely with school communities to navigate these changes and effectively serve students, educators, and taxpayers. In Minneapolis, Sanford Middle School reached a transition point at nearly 100 years of service: It needed more space to grow enrollment and new systems to conserve energy. The district called us in to help the building move into its second century.

We began with a thorough evaluation of the building’s structure and systems. The school’s classic brick architecture — with a charming second-story bay window — complemented the historic Longfellow neighborhood. Reuse of these features fit with the school’s commitment to sustainability; our renovation and expansion also emphasizes thermal, lighting, and energy conservation strategies. To accommodate 200 more students, we created a modern four-level addition that extends the building’s brick façade. A new entrance, gymnasium, music spaces, state of the art science classrooms, and accessibility improvements reflect the school’s programming and commitment to inclusion. Construction occurred during the school year, which made our collaborative approach essential. Careful planning and continuous communication helped the school transition gracefully into their new space.