The model for the new Camillo Junior High School is shaped like the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The design is innovative, a creative mix of classical and modern influences. Holling describes the proposed exterior of the building, saying,
"Wide steps swooped up past a line of pillars and up to the central doors. Above that rose a steep dome, with thin windows cut all around it. On either side of the dome, the building spread graceful wings - all with thin windows again - and behind, the long gymnasium formed the tail, whose rows of bright windows faced south and north to let in as much light as any gymnasium could ever have."
The interior of the building is equally notable. There are
"no pillars, no straight walls. The roof (is) a series of glass plates above the science and art rooms. The central dome (is) three stories high over the main lobby and clusters of classrooms all looking out into the sunlit space. All as modern as could be."
Mr. Kowalski, who presents the design first to the school board, is a classicist, but has stolen the idea for modernist elements in the design from his competition, Mr. Hoodhood. Mr. Kowalski could have won the contract to build the school, but his basic decency prevails, and he withdraws his bid, giving the job to Hoodhood and Associates (Chapter 6).