Bear Creek Community Charter School

Bear Creek Township, Pennsylvania

Nestled on 97 acres, the Bear Creek Community Charter School houses grades K-8 with two classrooms per grade. It accommodates about 470 students.
This “school in the woods” uses natural materials such as stone and wood, and features vernacular forms such as gable shingled roofs to tie in a rural/residential context. Various building elements of different shapes and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$251.00FEATURED IN2017 Educational Interiors ShowcaseINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas connect organically rather than symmetrically. Windows align vertically to trees in the woods beyond, and woodland trails metaphorically continue through the school. All spaces connect to the multilevel commons, the heart of the school.
The school’s curriculum is based on environmental accountability and stewardship; sustainability is paramount. Rock from the site serves as a gravel base, trees as mulch, and a pond as storm-water collection for fire suppression. An onsite sanitary sewage collection system serves the school. Other sustainable elements include reclaimed wood, LED lighting, daylight sensors, water-saving fixtures, and recycled materials throughout.
The flexible spaces throughout the site offer multiple learning opportunities and work cohesively to assimilate the natural and built environment.