Tag: 21st century learning

Project Highlight: Ben Franklin Middle School

In March of 2023, Ben Franklin Middle School officially opened its doors to the students and community of the Bristol Township School District. This project encompasses 118,000 SF of renovations and 38,000 SF of additions, transforming the school into a state-of-the-art learning environment.

SCHRADERGROUP (SG) completed the design for a full renovation of the existing building, implementing classroom reconfiguration to accommodate the growing student population and providing spaces for next-generation teaching and learning. Additional renovations include a new media center, cafeteria expansion, and the creation of multiple large group study areas providing the student population with more space and modern technology.

Additions to the building include a main lobby entry and reception area, an expanded administrative suite, two sets of Learning Stairs for student gathering, and additional classrooms and science labs. Each grade level has access to the Learning Stairs and its own dedicated Large Group Instruction, maximizing space for multimodal learning. Keeping in line with next-generational education methods, all students have access to the STEAM area, featuring the centralized library/media center, Tech Ed. Labs, and art classrooms. The layout of the school encourages students to research, make, and present their work efficiently.

Extensive site modifications include new turf and natural grass playing fields, parking lots and sidewalks, and stormwater management systems. The new, more spacious layout allows for safer, more accessible, and fluid movement during busy drop-off and pick-up times, particularly after separating the bus and car drop-off traffic loops.

Previously housed at Franklin D. Roosevelt Middle School, the student population now has an expanded facility with the latest technology and resources for next-generation learning. The transformed Ben Franklin Middle School is a symbol of progress for the future of this community. SG is thrilled to see the new middle school up and running and serving the Bristol Township community members.

Project Highlight: Anne Frank School

In August of 2022, Anne Frank School construction came to an end after major renovations and additions. The school was previously comprised of two buildings constructed in different eras: a 74,500 SF original school building constructed in 1962, and a smaller building: one of the School District of Philadelphia’s acclaimed Little School House structures. With the latest addition, SCHRADERGROUP successfully linked the buildings and formed a united academic facility, which now provides space for additional learning opportunities, centralized administration, and food service.

The addition features nine classrooms, a Learning Stair directly accessing the new media center, administrative and nursing suites, and an expansion of the Little School House cafeteria. Relocating the administrative suite allows the Anne Frank School to provide a centralized secure point of entry, thus improving the overall safety of students and faculty.

Anne Frank School is home to students from over forty nations, who speak over forty languages. The administration considers the school a model of diversity both in its population and available programs. With diversity as inspiration, SCHRADERGROUP designed the facility with multi-cultural and colorful graphics to celebrate the students’ heritage and backgrounds.

The original 1962 building is three stories and houses classrooms, the gymnasium, auditorium, and original cafeteria. This section of the school underwent a renovation consisting of new interior finishes, window systems, and general building systems.

SCHRADERGROUP optimized the layout of the existing school buildings through designs that benefit students and inspire creativity. The bridge linking the existing main building to the new addition is airy and colorful, with flexible seating to accommodate modern learning practices. The windows throughout the addition were designed with young learners in mind and provide a fun, colorful, and naturally lit area through which students can gain a new perspective.

The renovations and upgrades offer students up-to-date technology and amenities, encouraging growth through creative, student-centered spaces. The addition unites the school and allows it to function as a whole, rather than as separate parts. SCHRADERGROUP is honored to have worked on this project along with the School District of Philadelphia and wishes the students, administration, and families of Anne Frank School a bright future.

Photos: Halkin-Mason Photography

SCHRADERGROUP Wishes You a Happy 2024!

In 2023, SCHRADERGROUP achieved numerous milestones, both as a group and with our clients. We’ve grown as a team, started and completed multiple projects, and become even more involved within our professional and personal communities. SCHRADERGROUP cannot succeed without the support of our friends, family, and clients, who drive us to create responsive, innovative, and sustainable projects.

SCHRADERGROUP extends our sincere gratitude to everyone for their support and partnership in 2023. We are excited about what 2024 holds, but first, we’d like to take a look back at the successes of 2023.
Check out SCHRADERGROUP’s year in review!

We’ve seen many great projects in 2023, from groundbreaking events to ribbon-cuttings! Below are a handful of the many projects we have created and contributed to this year.

Groundbreaking ceremonies are the perfect way to commemorate the first step in constructing new buildings. West Whiteland Township broke ground for its public works facility that will better serve the community. Reading School District also hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new STEM Academy. The school is designed to alleviate overcrowding and is set to open in August of 2025. Our most recent groundbreaking was for Phoenixville Area School District’s new elementary school in East Pikeland Township. The facility will house 700 students from grades 2-6, making it the first new elementary school in East Pikeland Township in decades.

Construction follows groundbreaking, and many of our projects have seen tremendous progress in 2023. Keith Valley Middle School has risen from the ground, with steel framework reaching new heights. West View Elementary School celebrated a topping-off milestone as the construction team installed the final steel beam on the school, signed by various community and faculty members. Great Valley School District also saw significant progress on its new 5/6 Center.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies often celebrate the completion of construction projects. In March of this year, Ben Franklin Middle School opened its doors to students and faculty of the Bristol Township School District. SCHRADERGROUP attended the Franklin County 911 Communication Center’s ribbon-cutting in North Carolina to celebrate the new facility. Also in North Carolina, Chatham County held a ribbon-cutting for the new Emergency Operations Center in Pittsboro.

Hazleton Area School District honored three new construction projects: the Hazleton Area Academy, the Cyber Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Academy. These academies will provide additional opportunities for Hazleton students. The Athletic Community Center in the Governor Mifflin School District was the site of a ribbon-cutting event that many attended. While the School District of Philadelphia’s Anne Frank School addition and renovations project was technically completed in 2022 SCHRADERGROUP recently had professional photos taken, showcasing the beauty and innovation of the updates.

2023 presented many opportunities for SCHRADERGROUP to get involved in the
community. From conferences to social events, we were reminded of the driving force behind our success: clients and community. Below is a recap of some of the events we attended this past year.

SCHRADERGROUP had the opportunity to attend and present at several conferences, including the A4LE Northeast Regional Conference where we were honored to present our Upper Merion Area High School project. We presented the same project at EdSpaces in Portland, Oregon. We also had the opportunity to showcase the Community College of Philadelphia’s new Career and Technology Center at the SCUP Regional Conference held in Philadelphia.

SCHRADERGROUP attended the 2023 Summit for Educational Leaders, the PASBO
Facilities, Transportation, and Safety Conference, the PASA PSBA School Leadership Conference, the DVASBO 4-County Business Manager Conference, and the A4LE LearningSCAPES Conference. On the Public Safety side, we exhibited at the 2023 IACP Conference in San Diego, CA.

We participate in many alumni and college events, including Career Fairs. We were fortunate to send SCHRADERGROUP members to several of their alma mater career fairs to recruit new faces. We strongly believe in mentorship, so we are always eager to onboard new interns from those events.

SCHRADERGROUP has received many honors throughout the year. Learning by Design featured the Upper Merion Area High School project on the cover of the Spring 2023 issue. Learning by Design’s Fall 2023 Awards of Excellence magazine named Keith Valley Middle School an Outstanding Project.

March of Dimes awarded PennDOT’s Regional Traffic Management Center its Alternative Delivery Project of the Year for its exceptional, unified flow during the design and construction process. The project also won an award from the Associated Builders and Contractors Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter for the Excellence in Construction awards with Heim Construction. We at SCHRADERGROUP are grateful to have received this notoriety and support from the community that motivates us to keep creating highly respected projects.

Building Design + Construction also ranked their Giants 400, where SCHRADERGROUP ranked in several categories, including Top Architecture Engineering Firms. Toward the end of the year, AIA Pennsylvania recognized SCHRADERGROUP as an EPiC firm for the second year in a row, highlighting firms that strive to support emerging professionals. We sincerely thank these organizations for their recognition throughout this year.

SCHRADERGROUP has seen tremendous growth this year. We have welcomed many new faces and officially opened a larger regional office in Pittsburgh, PA. New members of the SG team include:

 David Long, Project Architect
 Kate McKenna, Architectural Designer
 Craig Lucas, Project Architect
 Colleen Deluca, Senior Interior Designer
 Wiley Muck, Architectural Designer
 Samantha Yaros, Architectural Designer
 Sabrina Gonzalez, Interior Designer
 Caitlyn Keomanyvong, Marketing Assistant
 Thomas Wippenbeck, Regional Manager (Pittsburgh)
 Doug Perry, Project Manager
 Matt Wittemann, Principal of Sales and Marketing
 Lauren Wilke, Marketing and Proposal Coordinator

Additionally, we have recognized and promoted several individuals based on their hard work and dedication. They include:

 Harry Pettoni, Partner
 Tom Forsberg, Partner
 Devin Bradbury, Principal
 Charlotte Stoudt, Associate
 Eric Weiss, Associate

During the summer months, we worked alongside committed interns participating in our mentorship program. They included:

 Wiley Muck, Temple University
 Isaac Buxton, Philadelphia University
 Allyson Everlof, Pennsylvania State University
 Josh Pontell, Pennsylvania State University
 Gianna DeLorenzo, Thomas Jefferson University

This past year has been great for us, our clients, and the community at large. We are very optimistic about 2024. SCHRADERGROUP is excited about a number of our projects, both in design and under construction. The new year will bring more conferences, fundraisers, and community events, providing opportunities to connect with our clients, friends, and colleagues. 2024 will bring even more internal expansion to SCHRADERGROUP through new hires. SCHRADERGROUP will continue to foster the relationships we have built over the years with our friends, families, clients, and colleagues. We could not do what we do without everyone’s support!

Have a safe, happy, and healthy 2024!

From all of us at:

Phoenixville Area School District Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony for its new Elementary School in East Pikeland Township

On Friday, December 8th, Phoenixville Area School District hosted its commemorative groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the construction phase of their new elementary school located on Hares Hill Road in East Pikeland Township, PA. The 98,500 SF facility will house 700 students from grades 2 through 6, alleviating overcrowding at the middle school by moving 6th grade students to the new building. This will be the first elementary school in East Pikeland since the previous school’s closing, and the Township residents are thrilled to welcome a new school to their community.

The school’s layout takes advantage of the existing terrain, creating a balanced, multilevel facility. Upon entering the school, the interior boasts an impressive Learning Stair, where students can socialize and participate in a collaborative learning environment. The Learning Stair leads to a specialized STEAM area on the second floor where the Art room, STEM room, and Media Center are located. One of the building’s key design features is an enclosed courtyard, providing a secure indoor-outdoor space for students to learn and play. The entire configuration of the facility promotes collaboration and a forward-looking educational experience.

SG understands the future of education involves new teaching methods emphasizing the importance of sustainability. With this in mind, solar panels will be installed on all south-facing and flat roofs, and a panel will be located in the courtyard for students to observe the benefits of this energy source. Additionally, through a rainwater collection system, students discover the benefits of collecting and reusing water for their courtyard gardens.

The community showed tremendous support at the groundbreaking ceremony, including students, parents, faculty, and staff, who echoed the excitement shown throughout the planning and design process. This new elementary school will be a landmark for Phoenixville Area School District, and SG is proud to have collaborated with the District on this achievement. The school is projected to open in the Fall of 2025.

To see more of our K-12 projects, click here.

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.

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 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.