New learning spaces await Middletown students

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
$96 million school construction is bringing natural light to Middletown Schools??€™ new learning areas.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

When students return to Middletown High School in September their once drab, cramped, artificially lit school will be a distant memory pushed aside by bright colors, natural sky lights and expansive learning spaces.

ExploreMORE: Get a unique aerial view of the new Middletown school building

Their younger classmates will be in for even more of an atmospheric shock when they step into a new middle school adjacent to the high school.

Students in grades seven and eight will move from Butler County’s oldest school building — the ancient, soon-to-be demolished Middletown Middle School — which served for decades as the district’s storied high school building.

Combined ShapeCaption
The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September. 

The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September. 

Combined ShapeCaption
The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September. 

Middletown Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. is delighted to rock the students’ world.

The leader of the 6,600-student city school system recently toured the $96 million construction site of the largest, most expensive school building project in the district’s history.

ExploreMORE: Butler County’s oldest school finishes final school year

Standing brightly lit under one of the dozens of large shafts of sunlit illuminating where once only dull florescent lights burned, Styles said students will experience “open style learning” spaces doubling as small, imitate classrooms.

“It really supports our Middie Modernization Movement,” Styles said of the sweeping reforms program he launched at the beginning of his first year as superintendent.

“What we’re really excited about is to offer our students exposure to natural light and we’re are trying to incorporate as much as we possibly can,” he said.

Combined ShapeCaption
The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September. 

The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September. 

Combined ShapeCaption
The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September. 

The changes in the high school also include new wiring and seats in the school auditorium, a new wing of science labs, a “blended” area linking the once isolated media center to the school’s renovated cafeteria and more.

The changes are even more striking in the new Middletown Middle School.

ExploreMORE: Where Butler County children can get free meals this summer

That school’s cafeteria will double as a community event room, further strengthening the ties with non-school families, businesses, local organizations and others.

To enhance teaching techniques, the middle school also features the school system’s first demonstration class, complete with two-way mirrored wall for instructional coaches to observe – without intruding – teachers interacting with students.

Combined ShapeCaption
The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September.

The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September.

Combined ShapeCaption
The new Middletown Middle School is nearly complete. Students and faculty will move from the old school to the new school on the same campus as the high school when school starts back in September.

“We’ve seen this in other districts across the country and we’ve done it in a very creative way here in Middletown,” said Styles. “On the other side of the mirror is an observation deck, which allows us to have real-time, professional development for our teachers and will have a huge impact on student learning.”

The new middle school and renovated high school will be opened Sept. 4 for the new school year but public tours beforehand of the two schools are being scheduled with dates to be announced.

About the Author