New Middle School on Fast-Track Schedule for Fast-Growing Dulles North Area

LEESBURG, Va. — For Loudoun County Public Schools, a repeat client many times over, Shockey is building a new 210,969-square-foot middle school scheduled to open in the fall of 2024.

Watson Mountain Middle School (formerly MS-14) will house grades six through eight. The new four-story building will accommodate up to 1,445 students in the fast-growing Dulles North Planning District.

Designed by Stantec, the new building will be situated on a beautifully sloped site and incorporate a ‘house’ concept for the school. Thoughtfully designed to engage students, the design features dedicated space for each grade on the top three floors for classrooms so each grade has its own space or ‘house’ in the building. Each academic ‘house’ has open meeting spaces and workrooms that allow students more choices in locations for learning and collaboration. Ample windows throughout the building will create a significant amount of natural daylight to flood the school and provide grand, picturesque views of the site.

An open media center will connect the four-story academic wing to the auditorium, music suite, and administration areas. The roof above the media center can be utilized for an open learning courtyard with direct access from the third-floor science labs. Special education classrooms will be located throughout the building. Career and technical education classrooms and lab spaces connect to the outdoor areas on the first floor. Other amenities include two gymnasiums and outdoor physical education fields.

Special consideration has been given to the vertical circulation of students and keeping the four levels of the school easily navigable for student connection. By using the egress circulation of stairs in the design, three open circulation stairs encourage the comfortable flow of students between levels, connecting the media center to the cafeteria, auditorium, and music suite, along with access to the main parent and bus drop-off location. The student drop-off sites will be located on two different levels but connected through a double-height lobby designed to feel like one arrival experience for all students.

The school is being built in the Ashburn area on a sloping ridge that has historically been referred to as “Watson Mountain.”

Strategically co-located on a campus that will also be home to future elementary and high schools, Watson Mountain is being built on a 22-month fast-track construction schedule to expedite delivery of the $111 million new middle school (and associated infrastructure for the future high school and elementary schools to share the campus). Shockey is aggressively managing the schedule to ensure milestones are met.