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Northridge Middle School

This project involved the development of a 32-acre site for a new school building, encompassing 135,000 square feet of educational space along with associated athletic facilities, detention facility, and onsite parking.


One of the main challenges was the development of a detailed site plan for the relatively compact parcel. The 32-acre tract had to accommodate a the large school building along with sports facilities for football/soccer, baseball, and softball; a substantial stormwater detention basin; 250 parking spaces; and areas for bus queuing, student loading/unloading, and dedicated drop-off/pick-up zones.


The TTL team addressed these requirements by crafting an efficient and well-organized site plan that factored in stringent safety and security considerations for the middle school. The initial concept proposed a second bus access through a local street in an established neighborhood. However, after a public hearing and considering feedback from the community, TTL devised an alternative plan that fulfilled all program needs without the second access.

Furthermore, the bus and student drop-off/pick-up lanes were thoughtfully designed to streamline traffic flow and prevent conflicts or delays during peak hours. This solution was well-received by the community and met the Tuscaloosa City Schools administration's requirements, fostering a harmonious relationship with the neighborhood.

Despite the site's limited size, great care was taken to preserve mature trees and the forested buffer surrounding the property. This approach enhanced the school's aesthetic appeal while maintaining the integrity and character of the neighboring area. This project demonstrates TTL’s commitment to responsive and community-oriented planning that allows educational facilities to coexist seamlessly with their surrounding environments.


Tuscaloosa, AL


Ellis Architects


Tuscaloosa City Schools


Institutional, Municipal

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