Projects

Saint Mark’s High School

Wilmington, DE

Campus Master Plan

Campus master planning for the 283,000 square foot, multi-level high school building and 50-acre site focused on updating and right-sizing spaces to better support enrollment, curriculum, and athletic programs. The final plan envisions $34 million of campus-wide updates to be incorporated in multiple phases of construction.

Client Involvement in the Campus Master Planning Process

Master planning began with a series of visioning sessions with the steering team and teachers/athletics staff. To refine program goals based on current best practices, these sessions included a collaborative presentation and discussion of educational facility trends and review of the local educational market. Design concepts were then presented at two design charrettes. The steering team was integral to this collaborative review process, providing regular input and guidance for program direction and plan refinements.  The final master plan concepts were consolidated into a comprehensive report and formally presented to the board of directors. The report provided the framework for long-range campus master planning initiatives, as well as documentation of Phase 1 priorities, design concepts and cost estimates.

Defining Program Goals for Future Viability

The steering committee established a baseline for enrollment, educational curriculum and athletic program goals moving forward into the future.  The committee reviewed overarching goals for how to deliver education and holistic student well-being.  The discussions tied into teaching philosophies, opportunities for future ready learning programs and implementing tools to meet the needs of the whole student, not just at the educational level.  A concurrent assessment of the existing buildings identified infrastructure needs to be addressed in conjunction with facility updates to improve accessibility, define operational issues and achieve program goals.

A Campus Master Plan Framework for Multi-Phased Updates

The final master plan is organized into smaller, attainable projects and program changes culminating in a comprehensive set of defined updates.  The steering committee established immediate needs and long- range goals through the charrette process which helped to establish the overall educational specifications.  Requirements were set for each department and approach to the overall facility and campus.  The campus master plan solution establishes campus ministry, engineering/robotics, IT/AV, Large Group / Small Group, maker space and arts neighborhoods to reinforce those educational priorities. A building addition will pave for the way for a new Retreat Center and the learning commons will be reconfigured into an adaptable social hub for a variety of learning styles and gathering opportunities. Other improvements, such as a new elevator and entry experience, address current accessibility, wayfinding and security issues.  An expansion to the gymnasium/arts building will allow for a new cardio and weightlifting suite. Site improvements include a fitness trail, tennis courts, stadium turf field and archery range.

 

Logos Academy

York, PA

New Upper School and Community Spaces

Logos Academy, an independent, Christ-centered school in York, Pennsylvania, started with 14 kindergarten and first-grade students. It has since grown to welcome approximately 275 students and their families regardless of faith or financial capacity in grades K-12.  With the program growth including grades 9-12, Logos Academy needs a new, larger home for its Upper School as well as additional campus amenities for its growing community.  Through renovations and additions on an adjacent building site, Logos Academy will have an expanded campus that will have the ability to house up to 200 additional students, along with community spaces to support the diverse downtown community which surrounds it.

The expansion will provide much-needed space for high school instruction, as well as the health and physical education program for K-12 students, and community space for events and meetings. Logos Academy will gain instructional space for visual arts, a fully equipped science lab, and additional office spaces. Furthermore, 10 classrooms will be returned to the original K-8 facility, allowing the Lower School to serve more students.

Finding Space for 200 High School Age Students in an Urban Setting

Bounded by public roads and urban infrastructure, the new home for the upper school is right across the street from the Logos Academy lower school. The design concept had to work within a limited footprint to provide an engaging learning environment. Care was also given so that the new building expanded Logos Academy’s existing campus and respected the surrounding community fabric.

Previously, the buildings on the adjacent site housed a former YMCA gymnastics program, warehouse space, a gas station, and a Cadillac car dealership. This dealership was built in the 1930s with a distinctive Art Deco showroom facade, one of the last surviving building facades of this style in downtown York. Logos Academy intends to salvage this historic showroom architecture transforming the space into a central gathering space for its campus and outside community groups.

Creating Contemporary Learning Spaces in Historic Structures

Through renovation and new construction, Logos Academy will breath new life into this urban property. When completed, the historic building will house new classrooms, a fully equipped science lab and creator space along with a new academic support office space. New portions of the building will include a full-size gymnasium, gallery and a student café which will flow through operable doors into an outdoor urban garden.

The classroom areas within the historic building will house a fully equipped science lab and creator space as well as academic classrooms.  These spaces will be oriented around a sky-lit, central student forum space which will allow incidental collaboration between students and their professors. The classrooms will be flexible with movable walls and visual connections to the central forum. The classroom design is driven by Logos Academy’s commitment to a classical education model with features such as Harkness tables incorporated into the design.

Maintaining Connections with York City

Because Logos Academy is located in downtown York, PA, the design reflects the academy’s commitment to the urban community and the activities expected to take place on the expanded campus. To serve as a downtown resource, specific public-use spaces include the gallery, community room, gymnasium, café and urban garden. This connection, as well as student and staff safety, was key in designing the school with appropriate adjacencies and access.  The classroom wing within the historical building, where students spend most of their time, has the ability to be separated from public functions which may be taking place in the community areas of the building.

Assisting with Innovative Funding Sources and City Approvals

The RLPS team is working with multiple project partners to pursue funding to make Logos Academy’s vision a reality.  Potential funding sources include the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program, a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant, a York County Community Foundation Sustainability Grant, and a grant from the York County Land Bank Authority.  RLPS is also committed to develop project specifications that support the Logos Academy Equity Management Plan.

We provided concept renderings for Logos Academy’s Capitol Campaign for the project.  These renderings will also be used in presentations to the City of York’s Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) since the project site is located within a downtown historic district. The renderings will assist in highlighting the art deco façade of the former Cadillac Dealership and illustrate how the renovations and additions blend seamlessly into the surrounding downtown fabric.

 

 

Ephrata High School

Ephrata, PA

Creative Renovations Working Inside the Box

Ephrata Area School District needed to reinvent its high school library space to integrate technology and promote collaborative learning experiences. The challenge was to find creative ways to transform the existing space into a new media center and learning commons for Ephrata’s students without stepping too far “outside the box.” Within the space, new areas had to be created that would make it a popular place for students to hang out and study, one that would help Ephrata High School students position themselves for the future.

Fostering Student Engagement

RLPS facilitated a student design competition and a design charrette with a group of Ephrata high school students, the librarian and school administrators. These students, District administrators, and staff members collaborated with RLPS through the process, so that the media center had spaces that reflected the unique culture of Ephrata High School.  These students were also able to work with RLPS Interiors to select furnishing, finishes, and equipment to reflect what they needed to make the reinvented spaces their own. The design result was the introduction of informal seating options, several walls being finished with writeable white-board paint and the inclusion of varied group collaboration spaces– some with privacy-providing writeable glass walls and others with open seating options.

Future-Ready Spaces

Updates encompassed a renovated two-story lobby with stadium-seating steps that facilitate student flow and provide an additional spot for student interaction, as well as a tech lounge  where students and staff can get technology assistance from students as part of a technology class curriculum. The main media center space features flexible furniture, allowing for easy adaptation to whatever the future might bring to Ephrata High School. Acoustic clouds on the ceiling provide sound control in the open space, while also acting as an aesthetic feature. The updated media center includes informal study areas, collaboration rooms, a television studio, an e-lab classroom, a circulation desk, and a café, making it ready for 21st century learners. The café, located at the media center entrance, provides an additional revenue source for food services and encourages students to use the media center space before or after school.

AWARD: Outstanding Award for Excellence in Educational Facility Design, Learning By Design

“This is a wonderful example of how to renovate an old fashion high school library to meet modern pedagogy, student taste, contemporary social community customs in multiple cluster oriented, light infused, bright spaces. The learning stairs, the cafe, labs and acoustically appropriate study spots all add to the success of  this project. The renovation brings a lively, flexible space into the interior of the building and accommodates informal learning and meeting with new technology capacities.”

-Learning by Design jury panel

Photo Credit:  Nathan Cox Photography

Loganville-Springfield Elementary School

Dallastown, PA

Refresh to Better Serve Students

Originally built in the 1950s, Loganville-Springfield Elementary School was in need of a refresh to better serve its kindergarten through third-grade students. A feasibility review was undertaken to determine the best path forward between new construction or additions and renovations to the existing school. The District determined that additions and upgrades, completed through phased construction, was the best option to meet their needs and stay within budget.

Future-Ready Students

Once complete, the renovated school will include 24 future-ready classrooms and separate dedicated collaboration spaces for each grade level. The center of the building will house the learning commons with an adjacent S.T.E.A.M. classroom and maker space.

Student Safety Considerations

To help with student safety, administrative, common, and public spaces are organized around the main hallway including a new full-size gymnasium, cafeteria, and kitchen. Classroom areas are connected with an education corridor but separate from the more public part of the school. The educational corridor will allow for easy student circulation as well as breakout spaces for the many paraprofessionals and support instructors who directly serve the student population.

Phase one was recently completed and included the addition of new administrative offices, lobby, cafeteria, and gymnasium. Subsequent phases are currently under construction.

West Shore School District

Lewisberry, PA

RLPS conducted a facility review of nine elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, District administration building, transportation center and athletic facilities. The study included enrollment projections and educational programs including options and their impact for realigning grade configurations. The project has moved into the design of both new and renovated schools to support the District’s future plans.

New Holland Elementary

New Holland, PA

This project expanded Summit Valley Elementary School to accommodate kindergarten through 3rd grade students who were previously housed in a separate facility (the former New Holland Elementary School). Renovations involved relocating and expanding the library and art room, as well as 16 new classrooms, gymnasium and administrative suite. A new mechanical room with a four-pipe mechanical system allows the systems in the new addition to operate without affecting the existing building system.

 

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photograph

Blue Mountain Middle School

Orwigsburg, PA

Originally designed during the 1970s, the existing building had very few outdoor connections. The design solution added skylights to interior classrooms and created new hallways with views to the playing fields. New areas include a 650-seat cafetorium, kitchen, lobby, administrative suite, garage and freestanding maintenance building. Existing spaces including the natatorium, locker rooms, classrooms, library and district offices were refurbished and reconfigured for greater efficiency and increased natural lighting. Renovations included new HVAC, lighting, plumbing, roof, windows and doors.

 

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Annville-Cleona Secondary School

Annville, PA

This new building includes 48 classrooms with a separate wing for middle school students, and features a media center, music suite, industrial technology education suite, a 1,000-seat auditorium and cafeteria with a scatter, food court style serving area. A three-station gymnasium with approximately 1,200 seating capacity, team rooms, locker rooms and a weight room are also included. The design includes wireless computer technology throughout the building. The new building was oriented on the site to allow construction to occur while the existing building remained intact.

 

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Lititz Elementary

Lititz, PA

Building a new elementary school on the existing 2.5 acre site in downtown Lititz required extensive coordination between the design team, school board officials, the district’s buildings and grounds committee, a site research committee and a public residents’ committee as well as a number of local authorities. The design for the new, three-story K-6 school preserves the historic downtown area while blending with the surrounding neighborhood residences. Despite the site constraints, the compact design solution achieves the district’s programming objectives with modern amenities and spacious facilities, incorporating flexible, multi-purpose areas to maximize available space.

Award: Smart Growth Leadership Award; Lancaster County Planning Commission; Lancaster, PA

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Palmyra Area High School

Palmyra, PA

New additions include 15 classrooms, a gymnasium, weight room, library/media center, cafeteria and kitchen, administrative suite, district office, band and choral suite and technology education area. Renovations include locker areas, art classrooms and natatorium. The renovated building features a 25 by 92 foot skylight to bring daylight into the core of the existing 1960s school and a new, circular two-story lobby area with a bridge that links the new 9th grade classrooms to the existing building.

 

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography