Chartiers Valley School District New Middle School

Location: Bridgeville,  Pennsylvania
Completion: Fall 2017
Project Area: 130,000 ft2
Market: Education
Services: Architecture, Planning, Interior Design 

The Chartiers Valley School District is comprised of the four communities of Collier and Scott Township and the Boroughs of Bridgeville and Heidelberg in the south hills suburbs of Pittsburgh. The District retained IKM to plan and design a new middle school and renovations to the high school.

Originally occupied in 1973 as a high school, the School District’s current middle/senior high school complex has undergone minor renovations over the years primarily to repair building systems and to accommodate new grade alignments.  The last such renovation occurred in 2007.

The present Middle School project represents the construction of a new, 130,000 square foot, free-standing middle school on the District-owned land adjacent to the existing middle/high school facility to create a campus setting and to accommodate student needs for a 21st Century pedagogy.

The IKM engagement was initiated with an extensive facilities planning process for the Chartiers Valley School District. After a thorough review of the resultant report and additional research, discussion and debate, the District’s Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the proposed concept of small learning communities as the model for the functional, organizing concept for their new school. This model proposes a student-centered environment grouping students into learning studios of no more than 150 students per community. Each community offers a variety of spaces to support learning in large groups, small groups, peer-to-peer, and individual learning. In addition, small learning communities support student and staff collaboration, presentations, project based learning, interdisciplinary study and social interactions.

With construction set to begin on June 1, 2016, the middle school will include an academic tower based on the small learning community model; a 3 story high student commons with café/bistro style food service; centralized administration; state of the art STEM facilities; outdoor learning terraces; new competition gymnasium; and shared performing arts facilities.