KCBA is proud to announce a commission for a new elementary school for Parkland School District in Lehigh County, PA. While KCBA has worked with many school districts in the Lehigh Valley, this is our first project for the award-winning Parkland School District. Several KCBA employees are connected to the district either as parents of current students or as graduates themselves.
Parkland School District encompasses 72 square miles and serves over 9,200 students. A 2015 district-wide facility study projected that the district will be serving an additional 500 elementary-age students by 2020, and this new school on a currently vacant site in Upper Macungie Township will allow the district to accommodate this growth. This will be the first new school in the district since the construction of Fred. J. Jaindl Elementary School in 2010.
The district’s motto is “Educating for Success, Inspiring Excellence”, and this will drive the design of the building in many ways. In addition to core spaces to accommodate up to 750 students, the building will feature an interactive and highly visible literacy center directly off the main entrance that reflects this program’s prominence in the curriculum, a STEM learning commons at the heart of the school with a designated maker/breaker space, two local literacy centers: one focused on reading for K-2 students and the other focused on media and technology for grades 3-5, and an outdoor learning commons. An efficient site layout will establish safe and segregated vehicular circulation for cars and buses, ample areas for recreation and community activities, and the capability to easily expand in the future. The building will have expansive natural light and a warm, colorful interior suited to the educational and emotional needs of students in their first formal years of schooling.
Currently in the schematic design phase, KCBA is working closely with district leadership to finalize the building program and general organizational concepts. The project has an aggressive schedule with construction on track to begin in February 2018 and building occupancy slated for the 2020-2021 school year.