Tag: upper merion
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.
Upper Merion Area High School Recognized as an Outstanding Project in Learning By Design’s Fall 2022 Issue
SCHRADERGROUP (SG) is proud to announce that our recently completed project, Upper Merion Area School District’s Upper Merion Area High School, has been recognized as an Outstanding Project in Learning By Design’s Fall 2022 Awards of Excellence issue. We are very excited to have another SG project recognized as an award-winning facility for its incorporation of next generation learning space design and planning methodologies.
Each year, Learning By Design highlights the best in the educational design and construction market. Educational facilities are judged on the basis of innovation, community needs, interior design, sustainability, functional design, and next generation learning. The award-winning magazine is published three times a year and regularly recognizes the nation’s top K-12 and higher education projects and architecture firms.
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Upper Merion Area School District (UMASD) and are honored to have this wonderful facility featured in this issue. In addition to the successful completion of Upper Merion Area High School (UMAHS), SG has also worked with the District on the design and construction of the Gulph and Caley Elementary Schools. We look forward to continuing our relationship with this amazing School District that focuses on providing next generation education and facilities to the children of the community!
After a 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 planning 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 work spaces as well as contemporary higher education spaces were studied in the process of the development of this unique facility.
The 345,000 SF facility connects to the existing middle school through the athletic and performance arts components 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. After hours, the “commons” spaces 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 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 additional tremendous learning opportunities.
You can view the Spring 2022 issue of Learning By Design here. You can find the Upper Merion Area High School entry on page 138!
If you’d like to learn even more about the Upper Merion Area High School, click here.
SG is proud to have partnered with Upper Merion Area School District. Learn more about this amazing school district here.
SCHRADERGROUP + Upper Merion Area School District Speaking at the A4LE Southeast Conference
Join SCHRADERGROUP Managing Partner, David Schrader, and Upper Merion Area School District’s Superintendent, Dr. John Toleno, this Tuesday, March 8th at the A4LE Southeast conference.
They will be providing a session on “Designing for the Next Generation of Student Learning to Prepare Them for the World” using the School District’s newest High School project as a case study. The discussion will provide:
- How designing buildings supports 21st Century Learning
- How spaces can be designed to reflect current business models
- How it is possible to provide opportunities across multiple grade levels for advanced course offerings
- And a comparison of students’ reflection on their learning experience in traditional post-industrial environments versus learning spaces centered around self-directed learning environments
The A4LE Southeast Conference is in Roanoke, Virginia, and the session starts at 3 pm, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
For more information, please visit:
We hope to see you there!
SCHRADERGROUP Construction Progress – Summer 2021, Part 2
Now that summer has come to an end, a few SG projects are wrapping up while construction continues on many others. A few of the construction projects currently underway include the additions and renovations to Knapp Elementary School for the North Penn School District, the demolition of the existing Springfield High School and construction of new athletic facilities for the new high school, the new PennDOT District 6.0 Regional Traffic Management Center, the new Upper Merion Area High School, additions and renovations to two School District of Philadelphia Schools, Anne Frank Elementary School and Benjamin Franklin Middle School, the new Career and Advanced Technology Center for the Community College of Philadelphia, and additions and renovations to two Council Rock School District Schools, Hilcrest Elementary School and Sol Feinstone Elementary School, among others.
North Penn School District – Knapp Elementary School, Additions and Renovations
In Lansdale, PA, a phased plan for additions and renovations to Knapp Elementary School is underway. This project has a complex phasing schedule in place so that classes can remain uninterrupted as the school year begins.
The first phases of the project included classroom renovations, many of which are complete. The remaining classroom renovations are underway at various stages.
The renovations to the core of the building, including the new entry, cafeteria, and LGI are ongoing. Steel and glulam beams are fully installed in all of these spaces. An important milestone, the completion of the main entrance, is fast approaching. This addition will act as the connector for the two parts of the school while the renovations to the core are underway. The students will be using the gymnasium as a temporary cafeteria this fall.
Springfield School District – Springfield High School, Existing High School Demolition, Visitor Side Bleacher, and Athletic Fields
In Springfield, PA, demolition work is speeding up. The existing Springfield High School is substantially demolished, the stone retaining wall construction is ongoing, and lot paving has begun for parking. After the completion of the existing high school’s demolition, work will begin on new athletic fields, turf fields, and tennis courts where the original school stood.
The visitor side bleacher construction is progressing and is expected to be completed in time for the first home football game at the new high school and stadium.
Department of General Services – PennDOT District 6.0 Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC)
In King of Prussia, PA, concrete slab placement at the new Regional Traffic Management Center has been completed on each floor. Waterproofing of the concrete footings is complete, the underground plumbing has been installed, and the steel column baseplates are in place.
The site retaining wall is complete, as is the majority of steel and decking. CMU installation in ongoing and interior metal stud framing has begun.
Upper Merion Area School District – New Upper Merion Area High School
Moving on down the road in King of Prussia, construction of the new Upper Merion Area High School continues. Structural steel framing for the major spaces is ongoing while the exterior envelope starts to give the building its form. Masons have been busy with brick work and CMU walls.
As concrete slabs are completed throughout the facility, MEP rough-in work continues closely behind. Activity on site recently picked up as carpenters started on the interior partitions.
Now that the underground tunnel is complete, the gym and pool areas are getting footings and foundations started.
School District of Philadelphia – Anne Frank Elementary School, Additions and Renovation
In Philadelphia, construction has moved quickly at Anne Frank Elementary School, with the addition complete in time for the new school year.
Community College of Philadelphia – New Career and Advanced Technology Center
Staying with construction projects in Philadelphia, the new Career and Advanced Technology Center (CATC) for the Community College of Philadelphia is progressing nicely. All building trades have been working diligently on both the exterior and interior of the building, with the next major milestone being the completion of the building enclosure in the next few weeks.
The new CATC will offer excellent views of the Philadelphia Skyline. The project is on track for a February 2022 completion.
Bristol Township School District – Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Additions and Renovations
North of Philadelphia, demolition work at Benjamin Franklin Middle School is complete and interior framing and stud work has started.
Additionally, site work for the new addition is in progress, with concrete footings now installed.
Council Rock School District – Hillcrest Elementary Schools, Additions and Renovations
Heading north towards Council Rock School District, SG has wrapped up interior demolition at the Hillcrest Elementary School, with the kitchen, administration, toilets and library areas completely demolished. Rough in has started throughout for all trades.
During construction, Hillcrest Elementary School students will be temporarily moved to a vacant CRSD school for the upcoming school year. The project is moving ahead quickly with E&S controls and fencing already in place.
Council Rock School District – Sol Feinstone Elementary Schools, Additions and Renovations
Staying in Council Rock School District, SG is working on phased renovations for another elementary school, Sol Feinstone Elementary School. Unlike Hillcrest, which will have students attending classes at a nearby vacant elementary school, Sol Feinstone will be 100% occupied throughout construction. This will result in the construction of temporary classrooms and a temporary egress stair that contains a pathway for students to safely traverse while the addition is underway.
The summer phases for this project are currently under construction, and interior and exterior demolition has recently started. E&S controls are in place and excavation for the new addition is currently underway. Pier footings and foundations at the new classroom addition are ongoing as well.
It is always exciting to watch our design work become reality! We would like to thank our clients, consultants, contractors, and all other team members for your dedication and support of the on-going efforts for these projects!
Learn more about these and other exciting SCHRADERGROUP projects here!
SCHRADERGROUP’S Commitment to Mentoring the Next Generation
At SCHRADERGROUP (SG), we are dedicated to learning. This is evidenced by the numerous educational facilities and associated projects we have completed over our 17-year history. In addition to the work we do designing educational facilities throughout the Mid-Atlantic, SG employees go above and beyond to help the next generation of professionals excel in every way possible. One such method is mentoring.
The SG team is involved in a variety of mentoring programs at the University and K-12 level, including the Pennsylvania State University Stuckeman School of Architecture Alumni Mentoring Program, the ACE Mentor Program of America, and other collegiate and private mentoring opportunities.
Managing Partner David Schrader is a board member of the Penn State Architecture Alumni Group (AAG). President of the group from July 2018 until July 2020, David is now the official Stuckeman School AAG representative to the Arts and Architecture Alumni Society. He has dedicated much of his time to ensuring the success of PSU students by guiding them through the hurdles of the industry and helping forge new relationships with key connections after graduation.
Following in David’s footsteps, multiple SG team members have joined the mentoring program at the Stuckeman School as well. Project Architects Eric Weiss and Paige Geldrich have been involved for three years while Project Architect Jeremy Ross and Architectural Designers Selby Niumataiwalu and Tyler Corbley are currently participating in their first year of the program.
Project Architect Chris Farmer is also active in guiding students to a brighter future. Chris is an active participant in Jefferson University’s Career Services Department, meeting one-on-one with Jefferson students interested in Architecture.
Recently, the office opened its doors to several area high school students interested in the profession by providing them with a day in the office and then a tour of the New Upper Merion Area High School construction site. Recent graduate and rising architect Jillian Kreglow supported the in-office experience and Associate Dan D’Amico provided the on-site construction tour along with Chris Gehm of W. H. Lane. We hope that this experience inspires those students to start on the path of architecture as a possible future career!
In addition to the programs SG employees participate in, mentoring is also a key aspect of our daily life here at SG. Each year, we welcome summer interns to the company in order to promote and nurture emerging talent. At SG, we recognize the importance of an internship in this industry and have found that offering a mentorship component can lead to our interns gaining the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the future.
Learn more about the PSU Architecture Alumni Group here.
Interesting in working at SG? Visit our Careers page here.
SCHRADERGROUP Construction Progress – March 2021
2021 has been off to quite a busy start here at SCHRADERGROUP! The team has been working diligently on multiple projects in both the K-12 and Public Safety markets, including Upper Merion Area High School, Chatham County (NC) Emergency Operations Center, Anne Frank Elementary School, Knapp Elementary School, the East Pennsboro Area School District’s Administration Office, and the PennDOT District 6.0 Regional Traffic Management Center and Parking Structure.
With the weather improving recently, construction progress has been speeding up! See below for details on each of these exciting projects.
Upper Merion Area School District – Upper Merion Area High School
This month, the site finally started to dry out. Structural steel is being erected and the site was buzzing with activity!
Chatham County, North Carolina – Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
Early site work has been moving along on this North Carolina EOC project. The pond construction, on-site water, and rough grading over the culvert are all complete while off-site water and road grading remains ongoing.
The School District of Philadelphia – Anne Frank Elementary School
In Philadelphia, construction continues on the Anne Frank Elementary School. The concrete slabs are completed, and the CMU work is coming close behind. Both interior and exterior metal stud work is in progress.
North Penn School District – Knapp Elementary School
Phase 1 of Knapp Elementary School’s renovations and additions is nearly complete! An 8-classroom addition that includes a new bus entry canopy and vestibule will provide the swing space for the remainder of the renovation work. Demolition is set to start for the next phase, which will create a brand new Dining Commons, Large Group Instruction space, and secure entry.
East Pennsboro Area School District (EPASD) – District Administration Office
Up near Harrisburg, the District Administration Office for EPASD is coming along nicely. The exterior steel for the addition is complete and the concrete slab was poured last week. Interior stud work is currently in progress.
Department of General Services – PennDOT District 6.0 Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) and Parking Structure
Back in Philly, the PennDOT RTMC building is off and running. The first section of retaining wall footing is being constructed and the grading for the building pad is underway.
The activity at the parking structure is bustling as well. Steel installation at the stair towers is complete and rebar has been installed at the stair landing in preparation for concrete pours. CMU wall installation is underway as well as stud framing, HM door installation, and the sealing of vertical joints.
We are so excited to see these designs finally coming to reality! Thank you to our wonderful consultants and partners, particularly Heim Construction, Bala Consulting Engineers and Alfred Benesch & Company in their great work with PennDOT.
Learn more about these and other exciting SCHRADERGROUP projects here!
Recapping 2020: SCHRADERGROUP’S 16TH Year
2020 was quite a year. A year filled with challenges endured by all. We learned to live with new norms and learned how to adjust to dramatic changes not only in the workplace, but in everyday life as well.
But with these challenging times comes a chance to seize opportunities, continue growth and show our commitment to our clients, partners and the community. The SCHRADERGROUP (SG) team is grateful for all of the opportunities and experiences we have been able to participate in the past year (yes, that includes virtually), and would like to take the time to reflect on all that was accomplished in 2020.
While the SG team had participated in many events for this year, we have responded to all social distancing guidelines and appropriate pandemic responses.
The SCHRADERGROUP Team
2020 marks SCHRADERGROUP’s sixteenth anniversary…
SCHRADERGROUP was established on April 15, 2004. Since then, SG has been recognized both regionally and nationally for functional and dynamic design that offers the highest degree of service to the user, responds to and respects both the built and natural environment, and demonstrates inspired aesthetics.
New location…SG started off 2020 by opening a new office location in Raleigh, North Carolina. With existing offices in Philadelphia, Lancaster and Baltimore, SG is now more committed than ever to providing dedicated academic and public safety design to all our long-standing clients across the country, as well as welcoming additional opportunities in the North Carolina region.
Keeping our community safe…
As the COVID-19 pandemic initially caused a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) back in April, members of the SG team worked with Cornell University in their “Operation PPE” effort to provide protective gear for medical professionals. Sets of 3D printed face visors were paired with laser-cut shields and shipped to Mercy Catholic Medical Center in West Philadelphia.
SG celebrated project initiations by attending several groundbreaking ceremonies…SG marked the beginning of construction of the Upper Merion Area School District’s (UMASD) new High School project with a Groundbreaking Ceremony. The 345,000 SF new facility connects the existing middle school through the athletic facilities creating a full secondary campus. The project was the result of a community-engaged master planning process and two successful UMASD elementary school projects.
In August, SG attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 6-0 Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) and Parking Structure project. Designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating, the 2-story, 44,000 SF facility will expand PennDOT’s capabilities and enhance operations. The project is scheduled for completion in September 2022.
In tune with our mission of community involvement, SG participated in the following events…
Presenting to the community…
In November, SCHRADERGROUP participated in two virtual presentations for local school district classes informing students of the architectural processes involved in our projects.
SG Project Manager Dan D’Amico presented to Upper Merion Area School District’s School Board and community a video update on the High School construction project. He then went on to show the presentation to a tech class at the High School, providing students a chance to see the site plan, floor plan and renderings. You can view this presentation here.
Managing Partner David Schrader co-hosted a presentation to a class in Council Rock School District’s High School North in November as well. The presentation focused on green building and was hosted with CRSD Director of Operations Doug Taylor.
SG’s commitment to design and sustainability for the next generation will not cease because of the current pandemic. We plan to continue our dedication to educational facilities and the community that use them into the new year, whether those activities can be done safely in person or virtually.
Conferences + Events
The SG team made exciting new connections at various conferences and events this year…
SCHRADERGROUP attended various virtual conferences this year in lieu of the usual in-person events.
The SG team attended the PASBO Facilities, Transportation & Safety conference this year. This conference looks into three critical areas in school business: Facility Management, Student Transportation and School Safety.
Managing Partner David Schrader and Senior Project Manager Danielle Hoffer, along with Upper Merion Area School District Administrative Team Dr. John Toleno and Jonathan Bauer, hosted a virtual presentation at the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Annual Conference in November.
Additionally, SG Principal Harry Pettoni attended the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association Fall meeting in Carteret County, NC in November. The NCSA conference allows sheriffs and deputies to come together to talk about key issues facing law enforcement agencies across the state. The conference followed all CDC guidelines.
Awards + Recognition
SCHRADERGROUP is proud to announce the following awards we have received in 2020…
SG is honored to earn a ranking once again in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Mid-Atlantic’s Top Design Firms list for 2020. We share this honor with all of our dedicated clients and partners whose continued commitment made this #96 ranking possible. You can view the full list here.
SG is equally proud of the recognition for the following projects this year…
SG celebrated with the Council Rock School District (CRSD), D’Huy Engineering and Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects at the official presentation of LEED Gold Plaques for CRSD’s Holland Middle School and Newtown Middle School projects. SG designed Holland Middle School while Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects designed Newtown Middle School. The two teams worked in tandem to design these facilities at the same time in order to create a level of educational parity and similar aesthetics within the two facilities. CRSD, with D’Huy Engineering’s guidance, was able to secure an ACE grant for both projects.
See SG in the news as well!
New Springfield High School set for opening
Looking to 2021 + Beyond
We thank you for all of the experiences we have had during 2020 and are excited for more opportunities in the new year!
Wishing you, your families and loved ones a Happy, Healthy New Year!
From all of us at