West Fairmont Middle School
1543 Fairmont Avenue, #201, Fairmont, WV 26554
Location: Fairmont, West Virginia
Date Bid: Apr 2005
Construction Period: July 2005 to Jan 2007
Total Square Feet: 96,340 Site: 8 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: First floor, 72,022; second floor, 24,318; total,
96,340 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 16’; second floor, 14’; total, 30’.
Basic Construction Type: New/IIB/Structural Steel (10%); CMU
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick. Roof: Metal, membrane.
Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: CMU (95%); metal stud
Structural Engineer: Stroud, Pence and Associates, Ltd. - 5032
Rouse Drive, #200, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
General Contractor: Yarborough Development, Inc. - 1700
Washington Boulevard, Port Vue, PA 15133
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Tower Engineering - 115
Evergreen Heights Drive, #400, Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Cost Estimator: Winfield H. Strock Consulting Services - 3410
Chesterfield Avenue, Charleston, WV 25304
West Fairmont Middle School was designed and constructed to replace two
outdated and essentially unusable facilities: Dunbar Middle School,
which served fifth and sixth grade students, and Miller Junior High
School, which served seventh and eighth grade students.
The site chosen for the new school was a dilapidated industrial site
that presented unique challenges including extensive environmental
cleanup and an unknown underground water source which dictated the use
of a grade beam foundation system. The remnants of an existing coal seam
was also removed and sold to help offset the cost of the revitalization
of the site.
The site’s topography did not lend itself well to the construction of a
school. It was located in an older, primarily residential neighborhood
with small, narrow streets that limited traffic flow and presented a
special challenge for bus transportation. Omni Associates – Architects
created a segregated entrance designated specifically for busses in
order to keep the flow of traffic at the main entrance moving
expeditiously for teachers and parents. Both entrances empty into a
common area of the school and are equipped with call buttons and
The layout of the building enabled the administration to move to a true
middle school curriculum while still segregating the fifth and sixth
grades from the developmentally disparate seventh and eight grades.
Distinct two-story Dunbar and Miller wings give each grade level its own
suite consisting of six classrooms, laboratory/project rooms, special
education rooms, and faculty use areas.
Central to the interior of the school are the administrative offices
nearest the main entrance and the media center, which incorporates the
use of clear story in order to maximize the amount of natural light in
the space. Indirect lighting is employed throughout the school. Shared
classrooms include a teleconferencing classroom used for outreach
education, an art room, and a consumer sciences classroom. Other shared
spaces include band and choral rooms, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium.
The exterior of the building has a modern aspect which reflects the new
technology incorporated into the infrastructure of the building yet
still echoes the residential character of the surrounding neighborhood.
Omni was able to mitigate rising construction costs through value
engineering and additive alternates which helped ensure that
construction bids came in under budget. The project was completed on
time and under budget and ultimately met the needs and desires of the
school’s faculty, staff, and students.
Dr. James Phares, Superintendent of Marion County Schools, West Virginia
Association of School Adminstrators'
“Superintendent of the Year,” and nominee for the national award, has
called West Fairmont Middle School “the template for the twenty-first
Since its opening in 2007, the school has seen an increase in enrollment
as students seek to take advantage of additions to the curriculum made
possible by the new facility’s layout and technology. As an additional
benefit to the community, the school is now serving as a catalyst for
redevelopment in a neglected community within the City of Fairmont.
DIV. 3: Brick:
The Belden Brick Company.
DIV. 7: EPDM: Carlisle.
DIV. 8: Windows: Traco. Entrances & Storefronts:
YKK AP America.
DIV. 9: Flooring: AZROCK.
DIV. 26: Lighting: Litecontrol, Daybrite.