The Shipley Lower School, Lower Expansion and Master Plan, Bryn Mawr, PA
The facilities Master Plan for the Lower School was part of a school-wide conversation about both current needs and future direction of the Lower School as a foundation of the entire school.
The design team conducted an extensive series of interviews with members of the Shipley community and collected data about existing facilities, school operations and enrollment. In the overall context of a strong institution of eager students and dedicated teachers, analysis revealed several significant needs.
Shipley faced a critical shortage of classrooms, athletic/PE space was overcharged, and dining facilities were undersized for the new enrollment numbers. Additionally, the need to upgrade facilities to address new technologies was a concern, as was the question of safety and connection between separate buildings over steep grades and across traffic. Through a series of plans, the design team helped Shipley navigate to a solution that solved these issues while responding to funding limitations and concerns from neighbors.
Once the Master Plan was completed, focus shifted to design of the Lower School. The Shipley Lower School is a nurturing place for young children that blends in strong academics to encourage students to achieve their highest potential. The expansion project provided both classroom and fitness facilities, with a 23,000 square foot classroom addition and a new 12,000 square foot full court gymnasium with a proscenium stage.
The elegant and energizing design fits well with both the historical and contemporary styles used throughout the campus.
More than providing additional space to learn and play, the new buildings address the needs outlined in the school’s Master Plan. All structures on campus are connected, creating a safe and secure environment as faculty move from place to place.
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