KCBA Staff Tour New Colonial Middle School
KCBA staff members from both offices met for lunch and to tour the currently under construction new Colonial Middle School in Plymouth Meeting, PA on July 13th. Led by Project Manager Jim Keiffer, the
This new middle school for 950 students in grades 6-8 will help alleviate overcrowding in Upper Darby School District and establish an innovative new learning platform for students. The school is to be constructed at the site of a heavily used 14-acre community park. Hence, a key design goal is to minimize the building footprint and exterior pavement to retain maximum available space for recreation, athletics, and community events. Located in a dense residential neighborhood, the massing and materiality of the new three-story structure is being developed to reduce its scale and meld with surrounding homes. The integration of modern security strategies is another project priority; measures include fully separated bus and car drop-off lanes and an entry protocol that routes all visitors through the main office before gaining access to the school.
A core programmatic goal is to introduce a series of flexible and technology-rich spaces to enable the district’s evolving curriculum. Three STEM labs, one for each grade, are located at key corridor intersections with high visibility and configured to accommodate a range of project-based activities and experiments. The library/media center is prominently situated near the main entrance to reinforce the importance of literacy in the curriculum. The athletics suite includes a competition gym, auxiliary gym, fitness center, and locker rooms independently zoned to facilitate secure after-hours and weekend use. A combined cafeteria/auditorium with stage and environmental controls will support a range of performances and presentations. A full complement of classrooms for each grade are accompanied by a series of science labs with ample storage and shared prep areas as well as dedicated visual arts and music suites.