North Hills media center sports bright colors.

North Hills media center sports bright colors.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Bloomfield Hills middle schools introduce new and improved facilities

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 11, 2023

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — School is now in session at North Hills and South Hills middle schools, Bloomfield Hills Schools’ recent additions to the district.

Prior to this school year, Bloomfield Hills middle school students were divided into three schools: East Hills, Bloomfield Hills Middle School and West Hills.

Now students either attend North Hills or South Hills. With the introduction of these schools, BHS changed the feeder pattern from the elementary to middle schools.

Now, students from Eastover and Way elementary schools will go to North Hills Middle School, and students from Conant and Lone Pine elementary schools will go to South Hills Middle School.

“After doing a major facility review, our Board of Education had the courage to ask our community to pass a $200 million bond that largely focused on our K-8 structure,” Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services Todd Bidlack said.

This bond was used to fund both the North Hills and South Hills projects.

“What was unique about this bond proposal is it wasn’t just repairing the existing structure, but it allowed us to reinvent our spaces and to drive innovation through our facilities,” Bidlack said.

While there were differences in the two projects, there are similarities that have been introduced to these school communities.

For example, at both schools, students can now enjoy the new cutting-edge facilities with added safety and functionality, officials said. Classrooms now have new furniture and state-of-the-art technology.  The school’s security has been advanced with cameras and a secure entrance.

Bidlack said one of the most significant changes is the design of courses and “embedding more interdisciplinary learning across subject areas.”

Officials also noted the strong counselor-to-student ratio.

“One area that was like a high priority was student well-being,” North Hills Middle School Principal Jason Rubel said. “We have a counselor that’s embedded in each of those grade level wings that is like a member of that team and will follow those students.”

South Hills Middle School is now in the building previously called Bloomfield Hills Middle School.

The proposed cost of the project that began in summer 2021 was $38.9 million. South Hills Middle School has 114,866 square feet of renovated space and 40,866 square feet of new space.

South Hills Middle School has 612 students in grades six through eight, 57 teachers and over 100 staff members.

North Hills Middle School is now in the building that previously housed Lahser High School. It was last used as a high school in 2015.

In the summer of 2021, construction began to build the new North Hills Middle School with the proposed cost of  $55.2 million.

There was a “big emphasis on creating spaces where students could show and demonstrate their learning,” Rubel said.

The school now has 98,760 square feet of renovated space and 88,780 square feet of new space. Since the North Hills Middle School building was previously a high school, the infrastructure allowed for more features, such as a natatorium and an auditorium.

North Hills Middle School’s school community includes 576 students in grades six through eight, 54 teachers and 100 staff members.

“Designing North Hills Middle School was an extraordinarily collaborative process,” Bidlack said. “Mr. Rubel and our middle school team were wonderful to work with to design a building with the focus being that we were going to create environments that were inclusive so that all students would feel a strong sense of belonging and they would be in a team atmosphere. So, the whole campus is laid out with that priority in mind. Academically speaking, we really wanted to bring in and leverage the facility to enhance our efforts around STEAM, career readiness and college readiness.”

More information on how BHS used bond dollars can be found at bloomfield.org/about-bhs/bond/schools.