GW Carver High School of Engineering and Science, School District of Philadelphia

Built in 1948, the High School for Engineering and Science serves as a science, engineering and technology magnet school for the School District of Philadelphia. This project focused on rearranging space programmatically, completely renovating the entire facility and adding approximately 40,000 SF to address significant deficiencies.

Maximizing the ability of the school’s design to function as a teaching tool was a main goal of the project. Also, the project served as the District’s pilot green school project; however, the District ultimately decided not to pursue LEED Certification. Sustainable measures taken in site design included the reduction of impervious coverage by 25 percent, the addition of an underground infiltration basin, landscaping with native plants requiring no irrigation, and night sky-friendly lighting. Within the building, sustainable measures include the use of low emitting and recycled content materials, FSC-certified wood, and water saving fixtures.  

The approach to the design of the facility is unique in that it utilized a dynamic community planning process, which directly involved the community, faculty, students, administration, and local design professionals in the brainstorming process and charrette design.


School District of Philadelphia


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Project Type

Additions and Renovations

Size in SF

40,000 SF additions
105,000 SF renovations

Construction Value

$34.9 million

Year of Completion



  • Honorable mention | Learning by Design 2010