In 2017, the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School became one of only 70 in the nation to participate in The Turnaround Arts program, designed to boost arts education and foster creative expression among Priority and Focus schools. As part of Turnaround Arts, students receive an array of arts education services designed to increase their chances of success, engage their community and raise the visibility of their achievements. Key to these efforts is building arts education programming that is rigorous, effective and integrated holistically into the school.
Shockey and the design firm of BCWH renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, transforming the auditorium in an existing school into a theater-quality performance space that combines the physical structure of the old school with the technological prowess of the new, much-improved one. Along with multiple community green spaces and open-air courtyards, the finished product features extensive day lighting that improves classroom environments and reduces energy consumption.
When it opened, the $40 million Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School was hailed as “an architectural marvel” by the Richmond Times Dispatch. The project won a Gold Design Award from the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) and is the first LEED® Silver Certified building in the City of Richmond.
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