Project information

  • New construction 139,000 sf

  • Grades 6-8, 900 students

  • $15.6M

  • Completed 2004


  • First public school in Maine to be completely heated and cooled by a closed-loop geothermal heat pump system

Gorham, ME


The geothermal wells for the school are under the girls’ lacrosse field to the right.

The 400-seat Bailey-Silcox Auditorium has its own sound/light booth.

This hub/lobby space connects the 2-story academic houses, the music/athletic wing, and public spaces. It is large enough for grade-level school gatherings and impromptu performances.

Three student houses, each with its own presentation/project space, share common public spaces: the library, gym, cafeteria, administration, and auditorium.

The GMS site is within walking distance of the municipal center and library in the center of town, a rare find in built-out New England villages.

The school is organized in three wings around a central hub space, offering compartmentalized security for after-school use.

Gorham Middle School is the first school building in Maine to be entirely heated and air conditioned with a closed-loop geothermal heat pump system–which circulates water through pipes deep in the ground to extract the earth’s heat. The system is estimated to save 30-40% of energy costs over conventional systems.

To break down the 900-student population, each of the school’s three student houses is further divided into three teams of about 100 students. Each house has its own classrooms, open computer labs, and teacher preparation rooms, and is organized around a flexible commons area for project-based learning.

Shared specialized spaces include technology classrooms, a TV studio, music and art rooms, and a fitness room.

GMS dance videos show the school quite well.

To see the project spaces and school hub, click here.

Photos © Sandy Agrafiotis

Select K12 — middle school projects