Great Valley School District Breaks Ground on New 5/6 Center
SCHRADERGROUP (SG) attended the official ceremonial groundbreaking for the new 5/6 Center for Great Valley School District (GVSD) on Monday, July 18th. SG Managing Partner David Schrader and Associate Danielle V. Hoffer attended the event with GVSD board members, administration, and the design team.
As a result of a comprehensive Facility Assessment and Master Plan, the option to build a new 5-6 Center will provide the district relief at the four K-5 elementary schools and 6-8 middle school as enrollments continue to climb. The construction of a new facility provides a unique opportunity to design a facility specific for this transitional age group to accommodate 900 students. Based on the teaming model, the academic wing will be comprised of four classroom clusters per grade level on each floor.
The new school will be located on the site currently serving the K.D. Markley Elementary School and the District Administration Building. A portion of the existing District Administration Building will be demolished with the original historic portion of the building maintained. The former historic building will be repurposed as the bus drop-off entrance to the school. A bridge connects the two-story academic building on the lower side of the site to the public spaces on the upper side. The sitework will include modifications to the existing site circulation, including a separate bus drop off for both the new 5-6 Center and the K. D. Markley Elementary School, as well as parking and playfields to accommodate the new construction and program.
The historic portion of the building will be renovated to house the school’s STEM program and will serve as the back drop for the media resource area. The central 2-story learning commons in the academic core of the building features a learning stair to provide a vertical connection from the first to second floor overlooking the space.
The main entrance opens into the dining commons with the stage. Tiered seating allows this multi-purpose space to serve as a performance area. The stage is also accessible from the gymnasium side to provide options for different venues.
This facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2024.
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Great Valley School District Community Engages in Workshop to Plan for the Future
The Great Valley School District (GVSD) contracted with SCHRADERGROUP (SG) in 2019 to complete an assessment of the current district facilities (six schools plus the district office, district maintenance, bus garage and athletic stadium). That assessment reviewed current building use and examined associated costs for building improvements. In addition, the District commissioned DecisionInsite to prepare a demographic study and projected enrollments based on housing developments and housing turn-over within the district. By comparing current building capacities to the projected enrollments, the team determined the district’s ability to accommodate the anticipated student population for the next five to ten years. A review of that data was presented to the community in October 2019.
In November, the District and SG facilitated a community workshop where participants were asked to comment on what they considered as the main priorities for planning. Positioning the District to offer spaces to deliver 21st Century project-based curriculum, student transportation/travel time and size of schools were ranked as participants’ top priorities. To begin a discussion regarding possible solutions to address capacity issues, specifically at Great Valley Middle School, a series of options were presented that considered the current grade alignment, possible grade realignment and new construction. Participants talked through the options, posed questions and identified concerns related to each, and highlighted the potential benefits. At the close of the session, participants were asked to express their opinion about the options presented.
At the final workshop meeting in December, two questions were posed for discussion considering various grade configurations specific to school centers and the secondary school campus. The results of the workshop process will be instrumental as the District plans for the next five to ten years. The School Board of Directors will consider the findings of the District-wide Facility Study and Master Plan in early 2020 to identify the next planning steps for the Great Valley School District.