Construction Advances for Great Valley School District’s New 5/6 Center
Great Valley School District is in the construction phase of its upcoming 5/6 Center. The new facility accommodates the district’s growing enrollment and provides unique spaces for students in this transitional age group to receive an education tailored to their needs. Recent construction progress on the exterior includes stone veneer finishing at the main entrance, wall and tile installation, metal roofing, and aluminum curtain wall and glazing installation.
Located on the same site as KD Markley Elementary School, the 5/6 Center creates a cohesive campus with improved circulation, dedicated bus drop-offs, and new playfields. The parent drop-off loop connects and serves both schools to alleviate congestion.
On the interior, classrooms, hallways, and learning stairs are emerging amidst the building’s evolving infrastructure. STEM spaces occupy what was the original 1939 schoolhouse, with the historic façade opening to the new library and media center. A set of Learning Stairs integrates the library, media center, Maker Lab, and flexible presentation space for fluid efficiency in conducting and presenting research. An atrium-style dining commons, with a second set of Learning Stairs, provides flexibility for dining and stage performances.
Those involved in the project, including the students and faculty, eagerly anticipate the new facility’s opening in the Fall of 2024. Construction momentum displays tangible success and instills excitement for the future.
To see more of our K-12 projects, click here.
Reading School District Breaks Ground for New STEM Academy
On Monday, November 13th, Reading School District hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new High School STEM Academy. This milestone commemorates tangible construction progress for the facility while also celebrating years of dedicated design, programming, and planning. SCHRADERGROUP (SG) is honored to have seen this project from its inception through to this noteworthy achievement.
The Reading High School STEM Academy will provide learning opportunities for students from Reading High School to study specific STEM-related disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This school will enhance the opportunity for students who strive to one day pursue careers in those fields. The facility features specially designed STEM classrooms, tech education and science labs, and a media center. Additionally, there are unique common spaces that promote learning and socialization, from the auditorium that can transform into a dining hall, to the rooftop courtyard where the students can safely interact without the burden of vehicle traffic nearby. The academy is set to open in August of 2025 and will accommodate 1,000 students.
SG is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Reading School District to make this envisioned facility a reality. The new STEM academy will greatly impact the quality of education available to students in the City of Reading.
We at SG would like to extend our best wishes to the students, faculty, and administration of the district.
To see more of our K-12 projects, click here.
SCHRADERGROUP Places in Five Building Design + Construction Giants 400 Rankings
Every year, Building Design + Construction (BD+C), a prestigious publication for the design and construction community, ranks the top design and construction firms nationally in its Giants 400 Building Sector Report. In the September/October issue, BD+C recognized SCHRADERGROUP (SG) in the Top Architecture Engineering, K-12, Sports, Government, and Justice Facility Architect categories. BD+C analyzes the firms based on total revenue and volume specific to the category.
In the Top Architecture Engineering firms, SG ranked 103 nationwide. The ranking highlights nonresidential building and multifamily housing work. SG is honored to receive this recognition alongside the other top firms in the nation.
In the K-12 Schools ranking, SG placed 55 nationally and in the Sports Facility ranking, SG placed 50. For the Government Building sector, SG ranked 146. The Top Justice Facility Architects category showcases firms that build exceptional public safety and justice facilities. In this category, SG ranked 57. We are grateful to have earned this recognition and are motivated to continue helping our clients produce excellent work.
In addition to the categorical rankings, BD+C published an article on public spending in which SG’s PennDOT Regional Traffic Management Center and parking structure project located in Upper Merion Township was featured. This facility achieved a LEED Silver rating for its sustainable and efficient design while providing crucial transportation management and operations in the greater Philadelphia region.
BD+C is a media platform dedicated to sharing the latest news about design and construction processes in the commercial, institutional, industrial, and multifamily building industry.
Learn more about SG’s projects here.
Hazleton School District Hosts Three Celebratory Ribbon-Cutting Ceremonies to Honor New Construction Projects
Hazleton Area School District experienced tremendous growth, and over the past few weeks, unveiled its three latest projects: the Hazleton Area Academy, the Cyber Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Academy. These new academies not only address capacity issues, but add to the quality of education for students throughout the District. Each new facility had ribbon-cutting ceremonies commemorating these significant milestones, and SCHRADERGROUP (SG) is honored to have worked alongside the dedicated people who help contribute to student success.
The first ribbon-cutting celebrated the opening of the Hazleton Area Academy, the old site of the Hazle Township Early Learning Center, and it currently offers early intervention and pre-K enrollment, plus VITAL House independent living and lifestyle training for young adults with disabilities. Totaling 40,000 SF of renovation, this center utilizes a repurposed portion of the school to serve young students. SG worked alongside the District in crafting a design that provides essential tools and spaces for developing minds, student growth, and engagement. The Hazleton Area Academy features transitional spaces for early learners, adaptable café spaces to introduce the students to elementary-level dining, and a flexible indoor recreation area. VITAL House includes a classroom area and fully accessible simulated apartment living.
As for the Cyber Academy, the ribbon-cutting ceremony recognized its K-12 project opening. The Cyber Academy is a unique 8,200 SF facility in the Laurel Mall, catering to the demand for online learning. SG utilized state-of-the-art technology within the 22 interactive teaching offices. The Cyber Academy emphasizes the versatility and accessibility of virtual learning and activities. It boasts a student conference and testing area, a 1,200 SF EA Sports Arena, a student-run retail store, and a secure reception area with flexible meeting spaces. Students can now participate in virtual classes and clubs and can even earn a Hazleton Area School District diploma.
State representatives, news outlets, and the community attended the third ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Arts and Humanities Academy. The total area measures over 44,000 SF and is located in the CANO Industrial Business Park. Featuring a theater, dance studio, and vocal studio, the academy caters to students in grades 9-12 who want to further their artistic passions. SG designed the facility to accommodate performing arts, news, video, and other communications outlets.
Hazleton Area School District is a long-standing client of SG, and we are happy to contribute to bright futures for the next generation of students, faculty, and staff throughout the District.
West View Elementary School Completes Construction Topping-Off Milestone of New Addition
The construction team at North Hills School District’s West View Elementary recently installed the final steel beam, advancing the progress of its new addition. The installation of the final beam represents the hard work and dedication all the teams have put forward, furthering the construction process. Built in 1925, West View originally served as the first junior high school in the nation, now housing upwards of four hundred students as an elementary school.
The school’s new addition, designed by SCHRADERGROUP (SG), will be 113,000 SF and feature administrative, nursing, and classroom spaces on the first floor, with additional classrooms and an expanded library equipped with a STEAM classroom on the second floor. This added space will provide ample room for students to grow and succeed in their education.
Team members and school administrators signed the steel beams with pride and well wishes for the future of the students and the school. The addition’s projected finish date is January 2024, while additional renovations are set to coincide with West View’s centennial anniversary in 2025.
West View’s topping-off ceremony represents tangible progress toward the future of learning. SG proudly worked with the school district and the leadership of the elementary school on this new addition. We are honored to create a practical and essential space where students can further their knowledge and achieve their academic goals. SG considered the best technology, sustainable features, and updates to streamline the way students move, collaborate, and learn within the space.
To learn more about our K-12 projects, click here.
Photos c/o North Hills School District – Facebook
Keith Valley Middle School Recognized as an Outstanding Project in Learning By Design’s Fall 2023 Awards of Excellence Magazine
SCHRADERGROUP (SG) is proud to announce that our ongoing project, Hatboro-Horsham School District’s Keith Valley Middle School, has been recognized as an Outstanding Project in Learning By Design’s Fall 2023 Awards of Excellence magazine.
Learning By Design is a prestigious publication that recognizes outstanding educational design and construction projects. They evaluate facilities based on innovation, community needs, interior design, sustainability, functional design, and next-generation learning. Published three times a year, the magazine showcases top K-12 and higher education projects and architecture firms.
Keith Valley Middle School is a three-story educational building that accommodates students from grades 6 to 8, featuring flexible learning studios, small group instruction areas, and larger learning commons for student gathering and project-based instruction.
The new facility will prioritize flexibility and connectivity within the school and community, fostering hands-on and multimodal learning approaches to inspire and engage students. A central learning resource area connects the educational areas to the shared public spaces, which include the dining commons, auditorium, and library.
You can view the Fall 2023 issue of Learning By Design here. You can find Keith Valley Middle School on page 94!
To learn more about Keith Valley Middle School, please click here.
SCHRADERGROUP Attends the DVASBO Four County Business Managers Conference at Sky Top Lodge
School district business managers, representing the four counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery, held their annual conference at the Sky Top Lodge from October 4-6, 2023.
At the DVASBO Four County Conference, SCHRADERGROUP (SG) sponsored one of the evening events and spoke at one of the morning sessions. David Schrader and Danielle Hoffer presented “Life after PlanCon,” which outlined the evolution of the role of the public school architect since the 2016 Pennsylvania Commonwealth moratorium on school construction funding.
The session highlighted the changes in the processes and types of projects districts conducted under the PlanCon process, compared to those initiated since the 2016 moratorium. As a result of reduced school funding, elimination of construction reimbursement by the Commonwealth, and the higher likelihood of being faced with a referendum for major construction projects, SG reviewed a variety of case studies, procurement methodologies, and resources the team has utilized to continue to maintain and upgrade district assets.
The SG team is grateful for this opportunity to share our experiences with our school district colleagues.
To see some of SG’s K-12 Projects, please click here.
SCHRADERGROUP will be at the 2023 PASA PSBA School Leadership Conference
From October 16th-17th, SCHRADERGROUP (SG) will be actively participating in the PASA PSBA School Leadership Conference, which will be held at the Kalahari Resort in Pennsylvania.
SG attendees include Managing Partner David Schrader, Partner Tom Forsberg, Principal Matt Wittemann, Principal Devin Bradbury, Associate Danielle Hoffer, Associate Thomas Wippenbeck, and Associate Charlotte Stoudt.
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association is a non-profit, statewide organization representing public school boards, committed to upholding the highest standards of local community leadership for the public schools throughout the Commonwealth.
Drop by our Booth #719 and say hello! We’re looking forward to meeting you!
To see more related academic SG projects, please visit our website here.
SCHRADERGROUP Exhibiting at the PASBO Facilities, Transportation, & Safety Conference
October 9th, SCHRADERGROUP (SG) will be participating in the PASBO Facilities Transportation Safety Conference at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College, PA. We are pleased to announce that representing SG will include SG Partner Harry Pettoni, Associate Thomas Wippenbeck, and Principal Matt Wittemann.
Please come visit us at booth #32! We look forward to interacting and meeting everyone there!
PASBO is a Pennsylvania-based, state-wide association with over 3,000 members. They are devoted to providing members with the education, training, professional development and timely access to legislation and policy news needed to run a school district smoothly and successfully. While their membership base varies greatly, the association has a common goal of supporting classroom learning through smart business practices.
To see more of SG’s K-12 Projects, please visit our website here.
SCHRADERGROUP Facilitates North Penn High School’s Additions and Renovation Planning Workshop
The North Penn School District (NPSD) held the first of three Community Workshops on July 17, 2023, for the proposed renovations and additions to the North Penn High School. SCHRADERGROUP facilitated the Workshop attended by over 50 individuals including Board members, District administration, staff, parents, students, community members, and Township officials.
Involving the key stakeholders is an integral part of SG’s collaborative design process. What is unique to this particular planning workshop is it is an important step in developing a design for the referendum for the taxpayers of NPSD to approve electoral debt for the project in January 2024.
The design process to date has included virtual and actual building tours of local, regional and national “Next Generation” schools. David Schrader began the Workshop with an overview of the building tours and program of the spaces. Building blocks representing each of the spaces were provided to each of the 6 teams to begin the conversation of room adjacencies and relationships of the building to the site. This is the first step to begin developing concepts that will continue to be refined over the next several months.
SG’s mission is to design educational facilities that precisely meet clients’ needs, with a strong emphasis on collaborative decision-making involving key stakeholders. Their client-driven approach begins with a thorough assessment of existing conditions and relies on a consensus-based planning process, fostering creative and effective solutions. They prioritize inclusive workshops to ensure input and information sharing from all parties, resulting in designs that exceed user expectations.
Please click the photo above to see the entire process of the workshop, with full commentary and transcripts.
“The main takeaway of this workshop was to get some big picture ideas that we can take away and turn into a facility concept to move towards (North Penn High School’s) referendum concept.” – David Schrader
To see more K-12 projects done by SCHRADERGROUP, please visit our website here.