Project information

  • New construction, high and middle schools 137,000 sf total

  • Middle school planned for 200, currently 254

  • $12M

  • Completed 1999

Poland, ME


Whittier Middle School is a one-story wing attached to Poland Regional High School.  The architecture of the two schools is quite distinct, though both have pitched roofs, a brick base, and high windows reminiscent of older buildings in the town.

The stone courtyard with Whittier Middle School on the left and Poland Regional High School straight ahead.

Whittier Middle School was originally designed to accommodate only students from the Town of Poland, but it has since expanded to welcome students from Minot and Mechanic Falls.

Students from the two schools share some core facilities, including the dining commons.

Right inside the front door, the administrative area combines all school administrative, health, and student services.

The Knights school store, run by students, is a bright, prominent kiosk in the commons.

Invited back in 2016 to design a middle school expansion, PDT is fitting a new classroom addition between wetlands on this very tight site.

Which facilities should the middle school share with the high school? In what areas should the two groups be kept apart?

Whittier Middle School is much smaller than the attached high school, with its own entrance and architectural identity. Its friendly vernacular architecture contrasts with the larger, blockier high school.

In planning sessions led by architects from PDT, the town decided to merge some core functions (library, dining commons, administrative offices, and art and music spaces), but to retain the middle school’s own entrance, gymnasium and locker facilities, and baseball/softball and soccer fields.

The two-house middle school includes a multi-purpose science/art project room, several classrooms with folding walls, sinks in every classroom, and a conference room for teaching teams.

By referencing older buildings in town, among them the famous Poland Spring Inn, the architectural design of this school reinforces pride and community ownership.

The commons, which serves as a lobby for all community functions, was designed as a “town square” at the heart of the building.

A rich variety of colors evokes traditional values while enlivening spaces used primarily by young adults. The 400-seat auditorium is used for town meetings as well as school events.

For the school’s website, click here.

Photos © Greg Morley except the wide exterior shot © Sandy Agrafiotis

Select K12 — middle school projects