Flexible Classrooms for New Middle School

Manor ISD turned to Virco PlanSCAPE to support its STEM-focused curriculum with furnishings that facilitate engaging, collaborative opportunities for its students.

Virco PlanSCAPE Delivers Flexibility to Progressive New Middle School


Manor New Tech Middle School in Manor, Texas is preparing its 6th, 7th and 8th-grade students for the world of tomorrow. With an emphasis on STEM, the campus is designed to serve 900 students with a technology integrated curriculum in an open-concept environment. Teachers act mainly as facilitators rather than lecturers, and instead of sitting in rows of assigned seating facing the front of a traditional classroom, students work face-to-face in learning pods designed for collaborative, project-based learning.

When it came time to outfit this dynamic campus, school officials relied on the expertise of Virco PlanSCAPE.


Student-centered learning and a shared sense of community rank high on the list of academic goals at Manor New Tech Middle School. With that in mind, school officials wanted to maintain an open floor plan that would allow students to rearrange their learning areas into a variety of configurations and be able to sit where they work best. However, the open floor plan presented a few challenges. With up to 300 students and ten classes in session simultaneously on each of the school’s three floors, the open concept limited storage space and the ability to section off areas for active supervision during lectures and tests.

Virco’s PlanSCAPE team met these challenges with a suite of mobile furnishings. Storage tables and dry erase boards with casters allow teachers to easily create defined learning areas, while upholstered seating units and stand-up height tables equipped with charging and power stations provide designated Focus Zones for group meetings and independent learning. The team also furnished a selection of glass-enclosed breakout rooms, installing them with desks that can be easily nestled together for lectures or separated during exams. And in lieu of teacher’s desks, dedicated areas were created for instructors to work and store their papers and other items.

The cafeteria also presented a challenge. With the need for the space to act as an auditorium and meeting area at times, furnishings needed to easily transform the bustling cafeteria into a multi-functional space. Custom high-back booths were designed to create the feel of a corridor from the main stairwell to the serving line on the opposite end. These high-back booths also functioned as back-row seating when the space was in use as an auditorium. The café-style tables, mobile stool tables and upholstered seating are all on casters to allow the space to easily transform as its needed.



Focus Zone:  

Upholstered seating units can be used as discussion areas, moveable tables with white dry erase boards for conference and group meeting areas and stand-up height tables equipped with charging and power stations for independent learning. Curved booths with a wrap-around stand-up tabletop give students the option to sit or stand.

Media Room: 

TEXT Series Slide Tilt-Top Tables can be nested together to create large group tables or separated for smaller groups. All tables are equipped with casters for easy mobility.

Science & Makerspace Rooms:

A moveable wall separates the Science and Markerspace rooms. ZUMA Series Lab Stools are paired with customized science tables that split down the middle for smaller work groups. Under the tables, storage space was added to hold tools, equipment and student belongings.