Wellsboro Area High School (Work in Progress)

Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Situated in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania, the Wellsboro Area High School project follows LEED guidelines for “green” buildings. It uses ground-source heat pumps, sustain-ably harvested wood siding and roof decking over a steel superstructure. Fifty percent of instruction spaces take advantage of daylighting. Recycled rubber “slate” ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY831COST PER SQ FT$155.32FEATURED IN2002 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress roofing also was used. Using a 30-foot by 30-foot module permits the building mass to be subdivided into small-scale elements, reinforcing local character and vernacular.

Facilitating site circulation and passive safety, the school is configured with two faces, a public entry for parents and visitors, and a student zone. Students will enter a two-story commons that provides the building’s central organizational element and anchors the main street. An adjacent newsroom and 3,000-square-foot library, community fitness center (financed by community donations), LGI, school store, scatter kitchen and gymnasium support the student experience.

The curriculum includes more than a dozen vocational education and tech-prep programs. Given the uncertainty about future enrollment in this rural school district, the houses, each with nonscheduled technology-enabled project areas, have been grouped to permit an alternative grade configuration of 6 to 8 and 9 to 12 if conditions warrant.