New Junior/Senior High School, Richland School District, Johnstown, PA
Richland School District, located in western Pennsylvania’s Cambria County, serves more than 1,600 students. Recognizing that new classroom-based technologies and student-centered learning environments were changing the face of education, the district commissioned L.R. Kimball to conduct a District Wide Analysis of their schools, and based on the report’s recommendations, chose to demolish its deteriorating middle school and combine its junior and senior high schools into a new, 21st century educational center.
The site for the new school was challenging in that it was steeply sloped. The L.R. Kimball team developed an innovative strategy that used the grade and vertical drop to the project’s advantage. By working with the grade instead of eliminating it, the environmental integrity of the site was maintained and the new 204,600 SF school is neatly tucked into a hillside, successfully creating the illusion that the school has always been a part of the landscape.
The building provides separate academic wings for the junior school classes (7,8,9) and high school classes (10,11,12). Shared spaces include a library/media center, large group instruction room, technology education labs, family consumer science lab, food court-style kitchen and cafeteria and a conference/meeting room supporting school and community needs.
Fine Arts and Physical Education are located on opposite sides of the school, each features a dedicated entrance and lobby space to allow multiple events to be accommodated simultaneously. The Fine Arts suite includes a 900-seat auditorium and dedicated band, choral, music, and art rooms with appropriate support and storage spaces. The Physical Education suite includes a 1,300-seat competition gymnasium with media balcony, auxiliary gym, locker rooms, and a fitness center open to the public.
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