Cherry Road Elementary School, Addition

Syracuse, New York

  • FIRM

    Ashley McGraw Architects


    Westhill Central School District

  • AREA

    29,500 sq.ft.





Sustainability was the key goal in designing the 32,000-square-foot addition to the historic Cherry Road Elementary School, situated within the tight-knit Westvale neighborhood of Syracuse, N.Y.

The program consists of seven classrooms, a gymnasium, locker rooms, physical-education office, music room and a teachers’ conference room. The greatest ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY182COST PER SQ FT$305.00FEATURED IN2013 Architectural Portfolio was designing a building that was modern and demonstrative of its sustainable features while being sensitive to the neighborhood. The architect employed contextual materials such as brick and wood, and a composition of human-scaled elements surrounding the larger volume of the gymnasium.

Sustainability shaped the design from the onset; the east-west orientation enables the classrooms to take advantage of the northern daylight, while being sheltered by the gymnasium to the south. This arrangement offered the taller southern elevation required for solar preheat walls. The sloped clerestories daylight the gym while maximizing the orientation of the photovoltaic panels on the roof.

A “rain garden” of native vegetation naturally controls stormwater and offers an educational opportunity for students.