Tag: public school design

Upper Merion Area School District’s Upper Merion Area High School Recognized as an Outstanding Project in American School & University’s Fall 2022 Architectural Portfolio

SCHRADERGROUP (SG) is proud to announce that our recently completed project, Upper Merion Area School District’s new Upper Merion Area High School, has received an Outstanding Project Award from American School & University for its Fall 2022 Architectural Portfolio.

SG is excited to have another project featured in this prestigious publication. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Upper Merion Area School District (UMASD) and are honored to have this excellent school featured in this issue.

American School and University (AS&U) is a magazine dedicated to the planning, design, construction, retrofit, operations, maintenance, and management of education facilities. It is intended to showcase the latest trends, technologies, and strategies driving educational facilities and the market.

AS&U honors educational design projects each year through multiple design competitions. One of these competitions is the Architectural Portfolio, the premier showcase celebrating the best in education design.

After a complete community-engaged master planning process and subsequent successful new elementary school projects, Upper Merion Area School District (UMASD) began the process of creating a flagship facility to house the upper secondary programs for the District. A thorough process was utilized, including multiple user meetings and tours of state-of-the-art facilities throughout the United States.

The intent behind the facility is to provide career and higher education level spaces for the students of UMASD to engage in the 21st-century learning activities of “research, develop, and present!” Multiple hi-tech industry workspaces as well as contemporary higher education spaces were studied in the process of the development of this unique facility.

The 345,000 SF facility is connected to the existing middle school through the athletic and performing arts facilities to provide a full secondary campus. The resulting facility provides enriching opportunities for students from the traditional 6th-grade through 12th-grade ages.

A true “student commons” is the heart of the facility and will be an “all-day” area for multiple activities. The commons is a two-story open space with learning resources located on the second level to enhance the research and project-based components mixed with dining and food-based opportunities on the ground floor. After hours, the “commons” space will provide pre- and post-activity support for both the athletic as well as the performing arts complexes. A full competition gymnasium and competition swimming venue is the connector to the middle school. The performing arts complex provides a complete 650-seat theater with a balcony and all supporting performing arts spaces.

Student services, technology distribution, and support spaces are located between the commons space and the academic area. A three-story academic wing supports the core academic programs with a STEAM-based center, multiple project and team-based spaces, and a three-story learning stair. The learning stair connects all core programs vertically to enhance the cross-pollination of learning activities. Transparency is a key aspect of the facility’s design and is utilized to promote the visual connection between each of the learning activities.

The new facility was constructed while the existing high school on site was still occupied. The existing facility is currently being demolished, and new playing fields will be constructed in its place.

A unique site feature is an underground stream bisecting the site. The project chooses to highlight that challenge by exposing the stream at its outfall within a new outdoor amphitheater and teaching area. This outdoor space enhances internal building program opportunities by connecting them to the exterior. The stream provides for science-based learning activities directly on campus. The new facility allows the students of UMASD to have tremendous additional learning opportunities.

You can view our entry in the Fall 2022 Architectural Portfolio issue of American School & University on page 73 here.

Learn more about the Upper Merion Area High School here.

SG is proud to have partnered with Upper Merion Area School District. Learn more about this great school district here.

SCHRADERGROUP Attends 36th Annual DVASBO Trade Show

SCHRADERGROUP (SG) recently attended the Delaware Valley Association of School Board Officials (DVASBO)’s 36th Annual Trade Show on Wednesday, November 9th at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

SG was proud to attend and exhibit at this conference once again. It was great to return to the trade show this year and to see so many friendly and familiar faces. SG was proud to assist in DVASBO’s mission of developing and supporting leaders in school business operations for the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery.

The Trade Show was attended by Managing Partner David Schrader and Associate Devin Bradbury. The day included prize drawings, seminars, exhibitions, breakfast, and lunch.

It was great to be at a trade show again and to physically see everyone and talk to people face-to-face. We had great fun connecting with school business officials and we look forward to attending again next year!

DVASBO is a regional chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO). For nearly five decades, DVASBO has been supporting school professionals in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties. The organization currently has over 1,000 members and is devoted to providing members with education, training, professional development, and timely access to legislative and policy news. The SG team would like to thank the DVASBO staff for organizing this trade show. To learn more about DVASBO, click here.

To learn more about SCHRADERGRPOUP’s commitment to educational facilities, click here.

SCHRADERGROUP Presents at the 2022 EDspaces Convention in Portland, Oregon

SCHRADERGROUP (SG) attended the EDspaces Education Conference from Wednesday, November 2nd to Friday, November 4th, 2022 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OR. SG Managing Partner David Schrader and SG Associate Danie Hoffer represented SCHRADERGROUP at the conference.

EDspaces is a place where innovation transforms learning environments. Attendees learned about industry trends, fresh perspectives, and innovative case studies. Professionals from across the country attended to contribute to collective industry knowledge and to add their own voices to the conversation surrounding the future of learning.

EDspaces featured a curated, multi-track educational and professional development series of 60+ education sessions conducted in classrooms designed by visionary A+D firms that competed to share their innovative ideas for the future of learning.

David and Danie were joined by Upper Merion Area School District (UMASD) Superintendent Dr. John Toleno and Upper Merion Area High School (UMAHS) Principal Jonathan Bauer for a special “EDsession” focused on UMAHS. The session, titled, “Student-Focused Design to Inspire Personal Achievement – the Next Generation High School,” explored how technology, space, and pedagogy converge to impact student success. The session profiled how local businesses and industries inspired the design of the new High School in King of Prussia, a suburb of Philadelphia. The session included a  discussion on the educational limitations of the existing traditional high school designed in the 1960s as compared to the design of the new high school. The new facility provides higher education level spaces to engage in interactive learning activities of “research, develop, and present!” Spaces integrated throughout offer opportunities in flexible spaces to complement how different students learn.

The presentation visually immersed participants in the design of the school with a fly-around of the building. Using 3-D modeling technology, this tool is used throughout the design process to engage the client and allow the end user to experience the space design from the very early design stages to the full design development including the interior finishes. Participants will experience the volume of the spaces and how students will move through the building.

In addition to the speaking opportunities, attendees were also invited to tour nearby next-generation learning facilities and to attend a symposium on educational disruption. Thank you to Discovery High School, James Faubion Elementary School, and Vancouver Innovation Technology & Arts Elementary School for letting us tour your wonderful schools!

SG was proud to attend this conference again and we are very excited to attend in Charlotte, NC in 2023!

To learn more about EDspaces, click here.

To learn more about SCHRADERGROUP’s commitment to creating 21st Century learning environments, click here.

SCHRADERGROUP Thanks Ed Kirkbride for Helping Shape SG Careers

SCHRADERGROUP (SG) would like to extend the sincerest “Thank You” to Edward E. Kirkbride, NCARB, REFP for the considerable impact he has had on multiple SG employees in their career.

Ed is an educational architectural consultant who had similar involvement in the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), formerly the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI). His work with the organization has brought cutting-edge educational facility concepts and programs to fellow professionals across the globe and he has been involved in the design and construction of a significant quantity of school facilities in his career.

“A very good friend and fellow architect, Ed Kirkbride, mentored both David and me in our careers as architects. I first interned with Ed when I was 18 years old while finishing my senior year in High School. Ed’s firm designed the addition to my High School – East Senior High School in West Chester. My mother very creatively set up a meeting for me to meet Ed since I had expressed an interest in architecture. I ended up working for him the summer following my senior year. I also worked for him a couple of other times while going to college and during my career. David and I started working together around 1992 for Ed while he managed the L. Robert Kimball Office in West Chester. We are both very grateful to have such a great friend and mentor in our lives!” said SG Project Manager Mark Hitchcock.

“My greatest business mentors have been friends who run other types of businesses. I enjoy seeing diverse business models and learning about their challenges and experiences. A mentor in the K-12 planning business, Ed Kirkbride, introduced me to the Association for Learning Environments and promoted me within that organization. I hope I left the organization just a little better off than when I joined it. Thank you, Ed Kirkbride,” said SG Managing Partner David Schrader.

Click here to learn more about SCHRADERGROUP’s work with K-12 school districts.

Click here to learn more about the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE).

Be sure to follow SG on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on all things SCHRADERGROUP!

SCHRADERGROUP Attends North Penn School District’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Knapp Elementary School

SCHRADERGROUP (SG) attended the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of an additions and renovations project to Knapp Elementary School for North Penn School District (NPSD) in Lansdale, PA on October 18th. Managing Partner David Schrader and Associates Danie Hoffer and Devin Bradbury represented SG at the event.

The ribbon cutting ceremony commemorated the transformation of this 1950’s facility into a next generation school. The 13,200 SF of additions and 64,800 SF of renovations to Knapp Elementary help facilitate interactive learning, provide enhanced learning environments with natural light, and generate a new sense of pride for the school and the community from the moment you enter its doors.

Community members were invited to see the new and improved school and to hear from district and community leaders. After a few words by the NPSD administration and David Schrader, the ribbon cutting ceremony was held. Following the ceremony, community members and attendees were invited to tour the new and improved facility and hear from staff and students about what they love about their new school.

The building renovations address ADA compliance issues and complete interior improvements throughout the school. The infrastructure and systems design incorporates energy-efficient construction, all-new lighting, HVAC, electrical systems, plumbing, technology, and fire alarm systems. The building design now serves 700 students.

The existing school was configured with classroom wings on either side of central enclosed spaces that housed the administration offices, kitchen, and cafeteria. As part of the renovation, a third classroom wing was added for grades 5-6 to accommodate the population and to eliminate the modular classrooms on-site. The central core was reconfigured to pull the dining commons directly across from the main entrance lobby and the roof structure was raised to introduce natural light into the space through clerestory windows. The library/resource center was relocated to the former cafeteria which now opens into a large group instruction area that is an extension of the dining commons. Internally connected to the two existing classroom wings and the third newly added classroom wing, these core spaces offer a variety of instructional areas in addition to small group instruction rooms provided in the classroom wings for pull-out instruction. The administration was relocated to the former library area directly adjacent to the main entrance which could now be secured.

To clearly identify the main public entrance to the school, the entry features a tall, glass-enclosed volume further marked by the prominent entrance canopy leading to it. This serves as the parent drop-off area with a new entry to the side of the addition serving as a separate bus loop. Sufficient parking is provided in the existing parking lot for staff and visitors with the bus loop used for parking for off-hour events. Outdoor facilities include new paving and sidewalks, hardscape and softscape play areas, one playfield, and open space.

SG would like to express our gratitude to the entire NPSD team for their contributions to improving their district’s schools. We would also like to thank our consulting team for all of the wonderful collaborative work done on this project.

To learn more about SCHRADERGROUP’s commitment to design for education, please click here.

To learn more about the North Penn School District, click here.

SCHRADERGROUP Attends PASBO Facilities, Transportation, & Safety Conference & Exhibits

SCHRADERGROUP (SG) recently attended the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) Facilities, Transportation, & Safety Conference & Exhibits in Lancaster, PA on November 4, 2021. This was the first time this conference was held in Lancaster.

The conference was held at the Lancaster Marriot & Convention Center, which is only a couple blocks away from our Lancaster office on King Street. SG exhibited at the conference in the convention hall and was honored to be a Bronze Sponsor for the event. SG team members Danielle Hoffer, Charlotte Stoudt, and Denis Brennan attended the trade show to connect once again with familiar faces and to meet many more.

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This year’s conference dialed the focus down to three key areas important to school business officials: facility management, student transportation, and school safety. School facility management affects teaching and learning, student and staff health, day-to-day building operations, and the long-range fiscal health of the district. Attendees included facilities directors and personnel, school safety personnel, business managers, and superintendents.

The SG team would like to thank the dedicated staff of PASBO for organizing this great event and to all attendees who stopped by our booth to chat and ask questions. We look forward to the annual conference that will be held from March 8-11, 2022 in Hershey, PA. Come find us at Booth 410 to chat about your projects and ideas for your school district’s needs.

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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 learn more about PASBO and the work that they do, click here.

To learn more about SCHRADERGROUP’s work with K-12 schools, click here.

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Springfield School District’s New Springfield High School is Complete!

The SCHRADERGROUP (SG) team, in association with our design partner Perkins&Will of Chicago, is happy to announce that Springfield School District’s new Springfield High School is now complete!

2-Learning-Stair_SCHRADERGROUP_Springfield_School_District_High_School_Perkins&WillPhoto courtesy of Todd Mason from Halkin | Mason Photography.

Constructed on the southeast corner of the existing high school’s campus, the goal of the new facility is to provide the school district with a complex that will serve the community for the next 50 years. Perkins&Will and SG provided programming, planning and design services for the new high school complex that encompasses 230,000 SF on a 25-acre campus. The school will immediately serve over 1,450 students.

3-Aerial-2_SCHRADERGROUP_Springfield_School_District_High_School_Perkins&WillPhoto courtesy of Todd Mason from Halkin | Mason Photography.

Consistent with the SG mission of creating next generation learning environments, the new high school employs an Academy Model that provides offerings in Art, Business, STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Humanities and Liberal Arts. The new facility includes an interior courtyard for outdoor learning as well as for gathering and common space. Unique to the facility is its inclusion of the District Administration within the structure of the facility.

4-Courtyard_SCHRADERGROUP_Springfield_School_District_High_School_Perkins&WillPhoto courtesy of Todd Mason from Halkin | Mason Photography.

Beyond the high school and District Administration, the project includes the design and construction of new site amenities, including the athletic fields, parking, and a stadium complex. Next up, SG will be engaged in the demolition of the existing high school, which will then lead to the construction of additional playing fields.

5-Athletics_SCHRADERGROUP_Springfield_School_District_High_School_Perkins&WillPhoto courtesy of Todd Mason from Halkin | Mason Photography.

The SG team is pleased to partner with Springfield School District on this wonderful project. To learn more about Springfield School District, click here.

6-Exterior-2_SCHRADERGROUP_Springfield_School_District_High_School_Perkins&WillPhoto courtesy of Todd Mason from Halkin | Mason Photography.

This project was completed in association with design architects Perkins&Will of Chicago, IL and the owner project representative CID Group of Berwick, PA. To learn more about Perkins&Will, click here.

7-Lobby_SCHRADERGROUP_Springfield_School_District_High_School_Perkins&WillPhoto courtesy of Todd Mason from Halkin | Mason Photography.

To learn more about the New Springfield High School project, and view more photos, please click here.

8-Auditorium_SCHRADERGROUP_Springfield_School_District_High_School_Perkins&WillPhoto courtesy of Todd Mason from Halkin | Mason Photography.

Thank you to Halkin | Mason Photography for the beautiful images captured of this great project. To learn more about Halkin | Mason Photography, please click here.

9-Corridor_SCHRADERGROUP_Springfield_School_District_High_School_Perkins&WillPhoto courtesy of Todd Mason from Halkin | Mason Photography.

SCHRADERGROUP Hosts Planning Workshop for Rose Tree Media School District’s New Elementary School

At SCHRADERGROUP, we believe academic design truly is the design for the future, as it provides the environment in which today’s students develop into tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders. In order to keep that goal in focus, we strive to develop designs for facilities created by the community, for the community.

Our community-based workshop process for planning and design inspires innovative design solutions that nest serve our client’s needs. Collaboration is key to supporting our client’s dreams and our team’s capabilities assist with getting to the end result. Educational facility design that is initiated by the client results in a project that will serve the community and is grounded in the district’s culture and educational philosophy. As 2021 continues, more projects are becoming realties for SG and our clients. One of these exciting projects is a new elementary school for Rose Tree Media School District (RTMSD) in Media, PA.

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SG recently partnered with RTMSD and ICS to host a planning workshop for faculty and administration of RTMSD to learn what priorities the District has for the new facility. SCHRADERGROUP team members led the process geared towards discovering different options for the new school.

The workshop began with a presentation about next generation learning and gave attendees virtual tours of state-of-the-art facilities in the country that exemplify these ideas. Next, the group broke into smaller teams and held individual visioning and building workshops with feedback loops in order to come up with and vote on the best options for the District.

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The SG team came away from this workshop event with multiple site concepts and building plans that were reported back to the larger group. From here, designs will continue with refinement workshops until a final design has been reached.

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SG is proud to work with Rose Tree Media School District and is looking forward to completing a state-of-the-art facility for the residents of the district’s municipalities.

To learn more about Rose Tree Media School District, click here.

To learn more about the new elementary school for Rose Tree Media School District, click here.

To learn more about ICS, click here.

To learn more about SCHRADERGROUP’s devotion to creating next generation learning environments, click here.

SCHRADERGROUP Hosts Design Workshop for Great Valley School District for the Conceptualization of a New 5/6 Grade Center

After completing a district-wide facility assessment and master plan for the district in 2020, SCHRADERGROUP (SG) began a series of community workshops to identify priorities and to narrow the field of options for district-wide planning for Great Valley School District (GVSD). Based on the master plan, capacity analysis, and community meetings, the District opted to design a new 5/6 Grade Center on a site adjacent to the existing K.D. Markley Elementary School.

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SCHRADERGROUP’s process includes community input through planning and design workshops. In the case of the new 5/6 Grade Center, SG teamed with GVSD to hold this workshop in the existing K.D. Markley Elementary School on April 21st. SG welcomed over 50 stakeholders to the workshop to hear a review of the process, virtually tour other state-of-the-art facilities, and discuss preferences for the new 5/6 Grade Center.

After a series of consensus building exercises, the team split into smaller groups and each group created multiple options for the new facility using the existing site and programming blocks. The SG team took away some valuable feedback from this process and is very excited to start the designs for the new center.

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Learn more about Great Valley School District here.

See more of SCHRADERGROUP’s work with K-12 schools here.

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Council Rock School District’s Rolling Hills Elementary School Completed with LEED Gold Certification + ACE Grant

SCHRADERGROUP (SG) is excited to announce that Council Rock School District’s (CRSD) Rolling Hills Elementary School additions and renovations project is complete. The 12,426 SF addition and 62,695 SF renovation project transformed the facility to support the next generation of learning. The construction phase of this project persevered through the challenges associated with the pandemic through spring and summer of 2020.

Rolling Hills Elementary School is a 75,121 SF single-story elementary school for grades K-6. The existing building floor plan was completely overhauled through to the concrete roof structure to convert the existing old-style open classroom layout to a progressive and functional configuration with natural daylighting.

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The design incorporated energy efficient solutions, including solar panels on the roof, and achieved LEED Gold Certification and an ACE Grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The transformation is further exemplified with an identifiable high-volume main entrance that floods the space with natural light. New building façades were constructed with abundant window openings and a variety of exterior finish materials which serve to fragment the horizontality of the one-story classroom wings.

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Apart from the Multi-Purpose Room which remained in its previous location, the majority of the other spaces were reconfigured within the parameters of the original building footprint. Additions for an expanded and secure administration area, classrooms and stage were added to support the design program. The building also received all new exterior and interior walls, new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and AV/IT infrastructure systems.

SG is proud of our partnership with the Council Rock School District, D’Huy Engineering, and our many great consultants. We look forward to more projects in the future.

Learn more about Council Rock School District here.

Learn more about Council Rock School District’s Rolling Hills Elementary School project, here.

See previously completed K-12 projects, including other Council Rock School District projects here.

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