Penn Hills Senior High School

Penn Hills, Pennsylvania


Penn Hills School District


301,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


The new Penn Hills Senior High School is designed to fit on the existing 56-acre high school campus. After the new building was completed and occupied, the former high school was demolished for new parking and athletic fields.
The design process began with a thorough programming phase that resulted in community consensus for an efficient building that created an enhanced learning environment.
The Senior High School was designed for “21st-century learning” and includes technology-integrated academic departmental instructional areas. The design segregates the academic wings from the large assembly areas, enabling secure use of the building for community activities and special events after regular school hours. These areas include an auditorium, a three-court gymnasium, an auxiliary gym and a food court/cafeteria.
The design concept of the new Senior High School emphasized the district’s mascot Native American influence in art and respect for nature. The principles of “biomimicry” were utilized. This concept is characterized as innovation inspired by nature to create an efficient, sustainable, and healthful environment. Accordingly, the building is organized with the symmetry of a living organism. The mechanical systems are situated internally within the “torso” or “heart” of the building. Many principles of green design were incorporated, including an ice storage system for cooling that reduces general operating costs and conserves the consumption of natural resources.
A goal for the project was that the building be an educational “beacon on the hill.” The design’s geometry and materials display some of the characteristics of Native American values, including power, strength and artfulness. The geometry of the classroom wing reflects the spread wings of an eagle. The entrance canopy features an arrowhead shape supported by a totem pole.

Additional Information



Cost per Sq Ft


Featured in

2015 Architectural Portfolio

Product suppliers specified

Communications Systems by Middle Atlantic Products
Clocks/Time Management by Primex Wireless
Kitchen Equipment by Metro
Kitchen Equipment by Lakeside
Kitchen Equipment by Crescor
Carpet by Interface
Flooring by Armstrong World Industries
Physical-Education Flooring by Connor Sport Court
Brick/Masonry by Glen-Gery
Brick/Masonry by Trenwyth
Ceilings by Armstrong World Industries
Ceilings by Chicago Metallic
Cabinets by Northeast Interior Systems
Ceramic Tile by Dal-Tile
Door Hardware by Ives
Door Hardware by Schlage
Door Hardware by Von Duprin
Door Hardware by Rockwood
Doors by Mohawk Flush Doors
Elevators by Schindler Elevator
Insulation by Dow
Movable Partitions/Walls by Hufcor
Paint/Wallcoverings by PPG Industries
Plumbing by Elkay
Roofing by Firestone Building Products
Roofing by Metal-Era
Skylights by Major Industries
Windows by EFCO
Lighting & Accessories by Luminaire
Lighting & Accessories by Lightolier
Lighting & Accessories by Philips
Auditorium/Assembly Furniture by Strata
Auditorium/Assembly Furniture by Wenger
Auditorium/Assembly Furniture by Hussey Seating
Drinking Fountains by Elkay
Hand-Drying Equipment by Bobrick
Washroom Accessories by Bobrick
Washroom Fixtures by Bradley Corporation
Washroom Fixtures by American Standard
Athletic Equipment by Hussey Seating
Bleachers/Grandstands by Hussey Seating
Scoreboards/Clocks by Daktronics
Communications Systems by Creston
Kitchen Equipment by Hobart
Kitchen Equipment by Edlund
Kitchen Equipment by Southbend
Kitchen Equipment by Groen
Kitchen Equipment by Delfield
Lockers by Republic Storage Systems
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