Fort Crawford Elementary School

New Kensington, Pennsylvania

The new building at the intersection of industrial and residential zones, was envisioned to function as both a community school and regional teleconferencing center.

Data and telecommunications systems were already being provided for the school, so the small step to satellite communications was achieved easily. To create the center, several spaces, including ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$106.00FEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio large-group instruction, cafeteria and multipurpose room, were air-conditioned and separated from the classroom wing for security. Borrowing the local vernacular, the large masses of the classroom wing and teleconferencing center were downplayed to create a more friendly scale fitting both the residential and industrial setting.

At the heart of the school and embracing the two sides, the atrium lobby became the circulating heart of the whole. Occupied by the children during the day, the school functions with the added benefit of global technologies. After school hours, the classroom wing is closed down for security, and the school transforms into a center capable of educating 250 adults conferencing worldwide or merely providing a place for the community to gather.

Photographer: ©Jim Kuhn Photographer