Orchard Mesa Middle School

A new 100,000-square-foot Orchard Mesa Middle School opened its doors in December 2019. BG+co. was tasked by Mesa County School District 51 to deliver an awe-inspiring and inviting educational space where students and teaching staff look forward to being at. From the unique refraction of light off the exterior metal panels to the flexible interior space allowing students to work in different styles, the school is designed to connect with nature and strike a dialogue between its students and the spaces they inhabit while providing educational opportunities throughout.  

A variety of lighting solutions were needed to address the requirements of numerous learning environments within the school. Working closely with MH Lighting, the design team selected Fluxwerx luminaires as the best energy-efficient and sustainable choices while meeting all aesthetic, design and lighting performance goals.

Loops’s unparalleled uniformity and low glare resulted in it being selected for all Mesa Middle School classrooms. Only nine Loop Recessed 1x4 fixtures were needed for most classrooms; wider on-center spacing allowed 351 watts in each environment delivering exceptional work plane uniformity and increased visual comfort from all viewing angles.  The original goal was to provide daylighting in each of the classrooms. Yet, even with the IECC2018 energy code it was not required since the three Loop 1x4 luminaires within every daylight zone only require 39 watts.

Loop Recessed luminaires in various sizes were also selected for the school’s angular corridors. Mixing sizes and groupings brought design continuity and added visual interest to the transitional spaces. 

Complementing Loop Recessed, Loop Suspended luminaires in silver powdercoat finish were selected for the school's music room. Suspended 8 ft fixtures perfectly integrated into the room’s acoustic structured ceiling, and the radial anidolic-extraction allowed increased end-to-end spacing of non-contiguous rows in this dynamic light-filled area. 

Notch 2 was used to light the school cafeteria to create a bright atmosphere with optimized energy consumption. Seven continuous runs of linear recessed luminaires, installed over the food lines, add glare-free punctuation of the ceiling plane. Installed in grid ceilings, the luminaire is continued in the adjacent sheetrock ceiling with exposed vertical fasciae. Notch’s trimless Dado endcap adds texture and depth to the plenum, extruding the hollow architecture to the edge of drywall soffit.

Visible from multiple areas throughout the school, the glass-walled, two story library showcases Fold Spoke luminaires. With fluid minimalist form, fully luminous interior and a unique void aperture, Spoke delivers a lighting solution well-suited for this multi-purpose reading and study environment. The pendants are suspended with 12’ low voltage stainless steel conductive aircraft cables—with no visible power cords. Selected distribution of 20 up | 80 dn with 4000K color temperature delivers uniform lighting with exceptional optical control and efficacies.

Careful selection of luminaires and thoughtful application of lighting design in schools has a direct connection to increasing productivity and well-being of students and teaching staff, plus offers energy saving benefits for the education facility. The Mesa Middle School project combines a variety of luminaires, providing an optimal blend of performance and design to address the complex requirements and challenges in every facet of this educational environment.

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Loop’s highly efficacious, precise, axially symmetric lighting distribution created an opportunity for delivering better and more energy efficient lighting.

Location: Grand Junction, Colorado, United States
Market: Education
Client: Orchard Mesa Middle School
Architecture: Blythe Group + co.
Lighting Design: MH Lighting
Photography: Steve Maylone Photography, MH Lighting
Engineer: Bighorn Consulting Engineers, EC Electric, Inc.
General Contractor: FCI Constructors, Inc.