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Erdenheim Elementary LEED Gold

Flourtown, PA

New Construction
89,000 sf New
525 Students Grades K-4

The School District of Springfield Township faced a common dilemma: whether to renovate and expand an older school or to build new on-site. Hayes Large’s Shared Design Process featured a two-day design retreat, which concluded that a larger new school offered more curriculum flexibility and could be constructed next to the existing school without disrupting its operations.

A two-story design conserved green space and organized the classrooms into grade clusters with a central Commons. The L shaped building houses these in its academic wing. Shared facilities (library, MPR, cafeteria, etc.) are in the other wing, allowing after-hours community use. The academic wing, with its grade clusters expressed as houses on the exterior, relates in scale to its neighborhood. The library, near the main entry, is a beacon at night.

The building wraps a busy corner, creating a ‘child safe’ play area behind it. There are separate access points and drop-offs for kindergarten, buses, parents and service at the site’s perimeter, separating these from each other and the children.

Before going to bid, the Board committed to green facilities and directed the architects to adapt the design to achieve LEED certification.