Conestoga High School Expansion

addition and renovation

Tredyffrin Township, PA

The expansion and renovation of Conestoga High School in TE School District has been a case study of the importance of careful architectural process. Heckendorn Shiles Architects has worked closely with the School District’s board members and administrators, in devising a site plan, building design, and schedule to provide a comprehensive 21st Century educational environment for the current and future students.

Project planning has balanced existing condition limitations and opportunities for enhanced instructional space. The school site is incredibly constrained with the surrounding developed neighborhood limiting any property expansion. In addition, Conestoga High School is constrained by existing utilities, complicated sloping topography, and athletic field usage. Within the parameters of these roadblocks, HSA coordinated with TE school district’s demographer’s reports and predictions of future growth to examine a variety of building expansion and renovation models to meet instructional needs. An exhaustive programming analysis was conducted to determine the yield rate for different types of classrooms to ensure the design maximizes instructional space from a square foot efficiency standpoint. Most importantly, the design responds to the need for Conestoga High School to remain open and operational during expansion construction.

The addition design centers around a connecting bridge and the translucent roofed atrium that plays off the silhouette of a Conestoga Wagon. The open area meets modern academic needs for more flexible learning spaces. Breakout spaces within the atrium will provide opportunity for collaborative small group instruction and study areas. The day-lit atrium leads to STEAM classrooms beyond. Art classrooms deliberately open onto the atrium to enhance instructional space and serve as a gallery to display student work. The “Fab Lab” will provide an innovative and collaborative space for students working in art, science, engineering and math. Core classrooms will also reflect 21st Century teaching practices.

The existing building renovations will provide cafeteria expansion for student population growth, additional core classroom space, upgraded science labs, expansion of fitness facility, additional FCS instructional classroom, expansion of the library, expanded and upgraded Nurse’s suite, additional restrooms, and expansion of the student services.