A prairie feel | Aurora Hills Middle School in Aurora, Colo.

A prairie feel | Aurora Hills Middle School in Aurora, Colo.

The new Aurora Hills Middle School in Aurora, Colo., will replace an open plan concept school built in 1972. The new school design will be a radical departure from the old school, which lacked windows and interior walls to separate classrooms.

The exterior design and materials reflect a prairie concept. Primary building materials may include masonry, wood, and metal in natural colors, such as brown, beige and red. Large expanses of glass will bring nature and daylight into the building with large overhangs or shading devices to protect occupants.

The design team used LEED for Schools as a guide during the design process. The building cost will range from $18 to $23 million at about 130,000 square feet.

The project is a joint venture of SLATERPAULL (Denver) and RB+B Architects (Fort Collins).

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