Midtown High School

Atlanta, GA

The design intention for Midtown High School came from understanding the student body. The high school is racially and economically diverse – 61% of students are African American or Hispanic and 31% of students are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Midtown staff credits student diversity as a major factor in the school’s success. At preliminary meetings with the design team, they requested a design that would feature this diversity and encourage student interaction. Large murals and gathering spaces were provided to signal the strength of diversity throughout the spaces.

The high school has 16 career pathways, including eight CTAE, four Advanced Academics, three Fine Arts, and JROTC. The variety of curricula required a thorough programming analysis of the existing buildings to determine a program for the new addition, especially given the limited space at the existing urban campus.

The four-story design connected to two existing buildings and enclosed the courtyard area at the center of the campus. Much of the new addition is dedicated to serving CTAE programs, including a ground floor dedicated to engineering and technology, with lab and instruction space; a prototype room, robotics flex lab, and engineering drafting suite. The historic Charles Allen Building underwent significant restoration and was integrated with the new building. Formally known as Grady High School, the school was originally constructed in 1923, and was later updated in 1949.

The top floor includes an outdoor roof patio with exquisite views of the Atlanta skyline and Piedmont Park. Rooftop space can be used for events as well as outdoor classes. Cooper Carry collaborated with in-house experts in landscape architecture, science and technology, and historic preservation to develop a creative design solution to serve Midtown’s biggest asset – its students.

What Others Are Saying

project scope

339,192 SF Renovation, 63,063 SF Addition


K-12 Education


Atlanta Public Schools


  • 2022 AGC Build Georgia Award, First Place
  • 2022 AIA Georgia Design & Honor Award, Built Category
  • 2022 Atlanta Urban Design Commission, Award of Excellence
  • 2022 The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Awards, Excellence in Stewardship