KCBA is proud to announce that the comprehensive renovation, expansion, and reconfiguration of Altoona Area High School received an Outstanding Project Award in Learning By Design Magazine’s Educational Facilities Awards Showcase.
The project was undertaken to address deficient building conditions, increase student capacity and introduce an additional grade, and infuse innovative educational spaces. The original school was comprised of two discrete buildings (circa 1927 and 1972) linked by a pedestrian bridge, totaling 395,000 SF for 1,650 students in grades 10-12. Challenged by a constricted urban site and necessity for uninterrupted occupancy, the architectural team investigated several approaches, ultimately proceeding to raze and reconstruct the 1927 building on a different parcel, renovate/expand the 1972 building, build a new connecting bridge, and reconfigure the site.
The transformed 447,000 SF school houses 2,800 students in 9th – 12th grade. The facility provides a range of state-of-the-art spaces to support the district’s academics, arts, and athletics programs as well as greatly enhanced operational performance and energy efficiency. The project also enabled a shift in focus to better prepare students for the modern workforce via training in project-based, collaborative activities as well as specialized programs in technical disciplines such as robotics, engineering, CNC milling, materials production, business education, media studies, and graphic arts.
The Learning By Design jury of five education architectural design experts applauded the project in meeting or exceeding six criteria of Innovation, Community Needs, Interiors, Sustainability, Planning and Functional Design, and Next Generation Learning. The project was recognized by the panel as a benchmark facility for its incorporation of next generation learning spaces.