This children’s advocacy center brings child abuse professionals together in one location to support the needs of victims and non-offending family members. The center’s former location was undersized and was not fully accessible. This retrofit project converted a three-story downtown residence to better support increasing program needs.
The 7,400 square foot renovated building contains five “pods” on the first and second floors. Each pod is comprised of a consultation room, observation room and forensic room. A private family counseling space is adjacent to the lobby area on the first floor and a conference room is located of the second floor. The third level is used for staff offices and storage needs. Parking is provided behind the building with an accessible ramp leading to the entrance that has been discreetly located along the side of the building.
A Place to Feel Safe
All of the support spaces are designed to be inviting and friendly, but not distracting to the families and children who can range from pre-school to teenagers. Acoustical separation between spaces is a priority, particularly for the pod spaces. Natural light, bright pops of color and nature references are designed to help support the healing process. A large mural provides a positive visual distraction in each of the medical exam rooms and donor recognition and room signs feature a colorful leaf motif. A non-operating fireplace in the lobby remains as a simple visual feature for the space.
Support for Multidisciplinary Team Members
The Center’s multidisciplinary team includes child protection workers, law enforcement officers, medical providers, prosecutors, victim advocates, mental health providers, and advocacy center staff. The new center provides larger, more flexible and technology integrated spaces to accommodate this diverse group of professionals.
A staff breakroom was a much needed amenity that became a possibility in the new space. Although modestly sized, the kitchenette and dining area is flooded with natural light and the breakroom was positioned to provide staff members with access to an existing balcony.
Meeting a Community Need
The new center provides more space to better coordinate the investigation and prosecution of child sex crimes, while also supporting the needs of those served. Children and their families can report allegations and use resources in the same place while having their privacy protected.
We are all still basking in the glow with how the new Lancaster County Children’s Alliance Center turned out when completed. It’s a warm and welcoming space with so many design details that provide an ideal place for children in our community to begin their journey to healing. RLPS was an invested partner that helped bring our vision to life.
Jennifer Groff, Vice President; LG Health Foundation
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
A revamped floor plan and interior renovations updated an existing building for Simon Lever’s office relocation. Nearly double the size of its former space, the 25,100 square foot renovation resulted in more open office workspaces and collaboration areas including conference rooms and a large multipurpose room and bistro area for employee use as well as hosting seminars and conferences. The distinctive, contemporary color scheme reflects the company brand and is complemented by unique features including bold wall graphics that coincide with the firm’s mission and values.
Simon Lever is an accounting and advisory firm, currently employing 56 advisors, accountants, and support professionals, which has been recognized as one of the top 10 places to work in Pennsylvania.
Photo Credit: Nathan Cox Photography
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
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