Lower Merion High School
Lower Merion School District
One of Two Concurrent LEED Gold Certified High Schools for Lower Merion School District
This new 338,000 sq. ft., 1,250-student, LEED Gold certified school is one of two concurrent new high schools designed by KCBA for the Lower Merion School District. The project entailed a series of complex construction phases over four years as the new school, stadium, athletic fields, and parking were constructed on a tight 41-acre site that was bisected by a busy road and also housed the existing high school and a historic district administration office. The state-of-the art new facility includes a wide array of learning, activity, and support spaces such as a college-style lecture hall, 850-seat auditorium, black box theater, greenhouse, performance and auxiliary gymnasiums, and a central courtyard. The interior offers a dynamic learning environment via features such as a two-story library that provides ample views to the outdoors, a central lobby that links the auditorium and athletic complex, and pervasive natural light throughout the building. Exterior aesthetics were heavily shaped by the surrounding residential neighborhood and particularly the adjacent historic administration building whose influence led to complementary building massing, façade organization, and masonry materials. A number of sustainable strategies contributed to the LEED Gold certification including daylight harvesting, high-efficiency fixtures, and site elements such as bio-infiltration swales.