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” CAPACITY831COST 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.