Ephrata High School

Ephrata, PA

This renovation project took the high school’s existing library and converted it into a media center resource incorporating 21st Century Learning practices. RLPS facilitated a student design competition and their subsequent participation in an intense one-day design charrette. We continued to work with the students and District representatives to develop preliminary concepts for group learning, technology integration, interdisciplinary studies, maker spaces, and quiet zones. Throughout the media center’s design and construction we fostered continued student input for finish materials, furnishings and equipment selections.

The new media center encompasses a renovated 2-story lobby with stadium-seating steps making a former pass-through space an additional spot for casual interaction. Extensive windows allow ample daylight into the space while interior glazing welcomes the light across the lobby and corridor and into the heart of the media center. Acoustic clouds on the ceiling are both an aesthetic feature and provide sound control within the larger open space. Collaboration rooms, informal study areas, TV studio, classroom, circulation desk, and café round out the popular multi-purpose spaces that have been added to the high school.

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

Photo Credit:  Nathan Cox Photography

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

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

Columbia Jr-Sr High School

Columbia, PA

This project addressed the District’s needs for additional classrooms, as well as functional renovations to comply with current IBC Code and Accessibility requirements. A primary objective of the project is accommodating changing curriculum needs through new shared spaces such as a Media Center and renovations to update the gymnasium, staff offices, lobby, corridors and student lockers. The project also involved new mechanical, lighting and fire alarm systems.


Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Warwick Middle School

Lititz, PA

This new 7th and 8th Grade Middle School was constructed around the gymnasium. The design layout was based on the school’s team concept educational program, organizing classrooms into three teams per grade. The design arranges each team in a “pod” of classrooms positioned around a shared learning commons space. Team pods are paired to share a common instruction area, science laboratory storage and bathrooms. The overall floor plan has been organized around a ‘T’ concept with the main gallery, where the students enter from the bus drop off, and the main corridor connecting all of the team pods.

Award: American School & University Architectural Portfolio Outstanding Design


Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Hand Middle School

Lancaster, PA

One of seven middle-secondary urban schools, Hand was originally built in 1924 and expanded in 1927. The District identified Hand as a “turn-around” school prompting much needed changes to programming and infrastructure. The interior was demolished down to the structural frame for major system and infrastructure replacement and the historic exterior facade included replacement of windows, doors and roofing. The design captures roof storm water and diverts it from an overburdened combined storm and sanitary system. The project was partly funded by federal grants promoting sustainable initiatives and development of Science and Technology curriculum.

Award: LEED Silver Certification


Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

Elizabeth Martin School

Lancaster, PA

This new school replaces the 1950s era elementary school. The new K-8 configuration helps ease overcrowding at Wheatland Middle School. Classrooms are arranged on two floors, with the younger grades on the first floor. The kindergarten classrooms are paired to share a common area for teacher storage and student bathrooms. Flexible learning spaces, furniture solutions and building-wide WiFi support continually evolving teaching practices. The project, registered for LEED Silver certification, was partly funded by federal grants.

Award: American School & University 2015 Architectural Portfolio, Outstanding Design Combined Level School


Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography