Early Learning Center, School District of Springfield Township

Located in a leafy residential enclave north of the City of Philadelphia, the School District of Springfield Township was faced with an aging K-1 Primary Center and a grades 2-5 Elementary School with bulging population growth. Following studies of potential options, the School District elected to construct a new Early Learning Center for Grades K-2 on an existing school district site and to close the aging K-1 Center.

The new Early Learning Center is a sloping site located at the intersection of a heavily traveled state roadway and a quiet semi-urban roadway. The new facility provides a visual presence from the intersection while also providing a street entry and building entry from the quieter roadway. The proposed site is designed to zone the internal uses from public to private areas with the more public uses located adjacent to the streets and the private uses towards the residential neighborhoods. The play areas and parking lots fit into the park-like settings while preserving as many of the old growth street trees as possible.

The learning resource center and STE(A)M program is located at the new facility’s core and the evening public-use spaces to the front. The academic clusters radiate from the learning resource center. Creative configuration of the classroom clusters allows the building to climb the hillside of the site while including a quiet contemplative courtyard nestled into the classroom clusters. The courtyard is designed to enhance outdoor learning opportunities.

Exterior material and building masses are residential in character to work with the surrounding context. Colors, building heights and masses and roof-lines are all carefully calibrated to reduce the scale of the facility from all street views.

Client

School District of Springfield Township

Location

Erdenheim, Pennsylvania

Project Type

New Facility

Size in SF

105,000 total SF

Construction Value

$34.4 million

Year of Completion

September 2020

Awards

  • Work in Progress Citation | American School & University Architectural Portfolio 2017