Phoenixville Area Middle School
Faced with an aging facility that required substantial renovations, both systemically and programmatically, the school board opted to build a new middle school and district administration building on the same campus currently shared with the high school. This option eliminated the need for a city of modular classrooms since the new building could be constructed with the existing middle school in operation until complete. If the existing building had been renovated, the cost to house students in modulars, even if the building was only partially occupied, was not desirable from a cost and instructional standpoint.
The new middle school is a multi-level building supporting the 6–8 instructional program, with the separation of the sixth grade on a separate floor from the older grade levels. The central main middle school entrance is flanked by the administration and guidance, providing a secure entrance to require all visitors to check directly into the main office before entering the building. The 960-seat district auditorium on one end of the building and the athletic facilities, including the 1,200-seat district gym, on the opposite end of the building can also be closed off from the rest of the school during events for security purposes. These public spaces will be used by both high school and middle school students for plays, concerts, and interscholastic sporting events.
As part of this campus-wide project, the circulation patterns for the high school and middle school were modified for safety and functionality. The bus loop serving both the high school and middle school is separated from the parent drop-off areas for both schools with a field of parking available between the two schools for staff, students, and those attending school events. The new district administration building was relocated so that staff and visitors to that facility would not conflict with the school traffic by having its own separate campus entrance and parking.
Upon the completion of the new middle school, the students were relocated into the new school, the original building was demolished, and the site was restored with new athletic fields to support the educational and athletic program.