For decades, Vernon Middle School educated sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in the Marion Independent School District. In response to growth in the area and evolving educational methods, the school district decided to reorganize Vernon to include fifth grade students and update the building to provide students with access to a state-of-the-art learning environment. The school district engaged OPN Architects to lead the design of the project. With OPN’s assistance, the district decided to make use of the existing site, but to replace the building with a brand new facility. In addition, the athletic facilities were updated and remodeled to accommodate the school’s increased enrollment.
OPN designed the new building as a flexible space to meet today’s demands and tomorrow’s challenges. At every stage, care was taken to make sure that the building was as energy efficient as possible. The new facility utilizes energy efficient mechanical and electrical systems, and is supported by a pump and re-injection geothermal system. The project required careful pre-construction planning in order to minimize inconvenience to the students and staff. The team approached the project in phases to allow the school to function during construction.