New Canaan Middle School Gets State Of The Art Makeover
Middle school students in New Canaan this year came back to a renovated Saxe Middle School.
School started Aug. 30 and Saxe students immediately reaped the benefits of the newly completed $18 million project, which was in construction since the close of school in June of 2016.
Students now have access to a two-story addition with nine more classrooms, four art rooms, three science, technology, engineering and math rooms and a STEM lab, as well as a new auditorium.
Saxe, originally built back in 1957 to serve as the town’s high school, was made to accommodate up to 1,100 students.
In the 1970s, Saxe transitioned to a middle school, growing to one of the largest in the state. The current population of 1,300 exceeded the space, requiring the addition of a new wing.
Prior to new wing back to top
Prior to the new wing, many rooms at Saxe meant to serve as offices were converted to classrooms to accommodate a growing student population. Many closets were then converted into office space leaving little room for storage. Partitions were also added to alcoves in hallways to create makeshift classrooms.
Now with the addition, teachers have more storage space. The hallways also have “breakout spaces,” alcoves with furniture or seating for small-group work. A courtyard created in the center of the addition serves a similar function, as well as adds natural light to the school.
In addition to the new wing, the Saxe project also included a renovation of the 710-seat auditorium. The auditorium has improved lighting and acoustics, as well as new audio visual equipment for students to learn how to program lighting and sound for school productions. The original seats from when the school was built in 1957 were refurbished, a nod back to the school’s roots.
The auditorium will be used for assemblies, speakers, choral groups, panels, meetings and as a swing space for music classes. For example, the chorus class will use it while renovations are done on the existing music rooms to add practice space and storage for instruments.