KCBA Architects Announces the Addition of New Professional Staff Members

Edwedard Mangold, AIA, LEED AP, a former 14-year employee of KCBA, has rejoined the firm. A skilled project manager with an extensive resume in the municipal, community, and educational markets, he will lead projects from the initial pursuit and planning stages through documentation and construction administration. Ed has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Temple University.


RyRyan Orran Orr, Associate AIA is a 2013 graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Having interned at KCBA throughout his college career, he is now applying his talents in architectural modeling, design, and construction documentation on a full time basis. Ryan’s interests in material and space relations as well as energy and the environment has enabled significant contributions during the initial master planning and conceptual design phases of projects.

“We are delighted to welcome new employees of varied experience and talents to our team,” said Michael Kelly, AIA, LEED AP, Principal of Project Development at KCBA. “I am confident that each will make important contributions to continue the positive growth we’ve enjoyed this year.”

KCBA Principal Receives 40 Under 40 Honor

Building Design+Construction has named Michael Kelly, AIA, LEED AP, to its “40 Under 40” class of 2013. Recipients were chosen by BD+C’s editors based on career achievements, community and professional service, and charitable work.

The 40 winners, ranging in age from 28 to 39, represent the next generation of leadership in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. A principal of KCBA Architects, Kelly was cited for his work on a range of projects in the education and ecclesiastic markets, involvement with professional organizations such as the AIA and NCARB, and contribution to his home community of Chalfont where he serves as a borough councilperson.

The class of 2013 was honored at the BD+C “U40 Leadership Summit,” in San Francisco on October 9-11.

KCBA Architects Receives Design Award

KCBA Architects is proud to announce that the firm is the recipient of the Steel Joist Institute’s 2012 Design Award in the non-industrial category for the new St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church in Flemington, NJ. The award package includes a $2,000 scholarship to a school of KCBA’s choice. Representatives from the Steel Joist Institute and KCBA presented the scholarship to Bucks County Community College at a ceremony on January 22nd.

The St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church is a new complex which features a church, administrative office, education spaces, and gymnasium/community center. The facility features long span gable joists over the gymnasium and church sanctuary which provided a number of economies such as cost savings, lessened erection time, and added spatial flexibility over other forms of construction. KCBA’s structural engineering team, in conjunction with Canam Steel Corporation, designed the system.

KCBA was pleased to be able to provide the scholarship to Bucks County Community College to be used on behalf of multiple students enrolled as engineering transfer majors or pursuing degrees in applied engineering technology. “We are thankful to KCBA and the Steel Joist Institute for sponsoring this generous scholarship at Bucks,” said Tobi Bruhn, Executive Director of the BCCC Foundation. “With the recent grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the applied engineering technology program in collaboration with Drexel University, we expect even more engineering students to start their education at the community college. This scholarship will assist several students this fall and provide a great start to their higher education career.”

The Steel Joist Institute is a nonprofit organization that actively addresses lack of uniform standards and enhances correct practices within the steel joist industry. J. Kenneth Charles, III, Managing Director, said, “KCBA Architects did an excellent job on the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church. As a part of the design awards program, we are pleased to be able to continue offering scholarships to engineering and technical schools for their use in assisting deserving students in the furtherance of their educational endeavors.”

Eric Gianelle, KCBA’s principal of project management, was on hand to deliver the scholarship check to BCCC. He said, “We commend KCBA’s structural engineering department for their excellent work at St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church and thank the Steel Joist Institute for this generous award. Very exciting things are happening in the sciences at BCCC and we are delighted to be able to support these efforts.”

KCBA Architects Announces New Principals

KCBA Architects is proud to announce that Eric Gianelle, AIA and Michael Kelly, AIA, LEED AP have been elevated to principals of the firm. Both longtime employees, Eric and Mike have played central roles in shaping many of the firm’s signature projects and provided leadership for a wide range of initiatives. They join existing principals Jay Clough and Les Bucher in working to maintain KCBA’s dedication to superior client service and excellent design while expanding the firm’s capabilities and reach.

A graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, Eric has been with KCBA since 2002. His work includes a diverse mix of projects in the educational, religious, municipal, and commercial realms. As the new principal of project management, Eric will apply his experience managing large-scale and complex projects to enhance KCBA’s customer service and productivity. Eric said, “I am humbled and excited by this opportunity. I have always been amazed by the depth of talent and capabilities of the staff at KCBA. I look forward to working with our project management leadership to review and improve our core functions from day-to-day client communications to quality control processes.”

A KCBA employee since 2006, Mike is also a graduate of the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. In addition to design and management responsibilities for a wide range of educational and religious projects, he plays a number of roles at KCBA associated with business development and strategic planning. Regarding his new position as principal of project development, Mike stated, “I am energized by the prospect of building upon KCBA’s rich history to better serve our clients’ needs now and into the future. Over many years, our firm has exhibited a capability to provide excellent service on projects ranging from modest renovations to $100 million new buildings. I look forward to collaborating with our clients and staff to explore new avenues to apply this highly specialized expertise.” In addition to his work at KCBA, Mike is very active in a variety of professional and community endeavors. Examples include being honored as the 2011 AIA Philadelphia Young Architect of the Year and currently serving on Borough Council in his hometown of Chalfont.

Beyond their architectural and management capabilities, the two new principals have continuously exhibited leadership and ambition throughout their tenure with KCBA. Managing Principal Jay Clough stated, “We are delighted to announce that Eric and Mike have been named principals of KCBA. While they are both accomplished architects and trusted business colleagues, perhaps most importantly they bring a tremendous new energy to our leadership team. We look forward to their increased roles in shaping the future of the firm.”

KCBA Commissioned for Facilities Study

Hatfield, PA – July 26, 2012 – KCBA Architects is excited to announce a commission to undertake a facilities study at St. Rose High School in Belmar, NJ. The study is being developed as the first step in a long-term facilities improvement effort.

With a student body drawn from over 40 school districts in central New Jersey, St. Rose offers a full range of academic, co-curricular, and athletic opportunities. Preparing to celebrate the school’s 100th anniversary in 2023, the study will form the basis of a plan to enhance learning environments to reflect the latest standards of education, modernize building systems to improve operability and efficiency, and enable the building to ably serve students for the next 100 years.

Specifically, the study will encompass a close collaboration between KCBA and St. Rose to assess the condition of existing facilities; study instructional and programmatic needs as well as enrollment projections; explore potential construction alternatives including renovation, expansion, and demolition/reconstruction; develop preliminary budget estimates; and ultimately establish a master plan to guide the long-term construction program.

KCBA Architects is a leader in the planning and design of Catholic church and education projects. Recent examples include the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Buckingham, PA, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sea Isle City, NJ, and the new Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, PA which is currently under construction.

The study is expected to take roughly four months to complete.

KCBA Selected to Design New K-12 Charter School

KCBA Architects is excited to announce a commission to design a new facility for Tacony Academy Charter School in northeast Philadelphia. Operating in leased space since its founding in 2009, the rapidly growing school currently offers programs in kindergarten through fifth grade as well as ninth grade. The new facility will accommodate 1,075 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

corridor concept

The educational program at Tacony Academy is based on the application of the art of invention to promote creative and critical thinking across all academic disciplines. This focus will drive the design of the new building in a number of ways. Science labs and exploration spaces will feature flexible layouts, equipment, and infrastructure. Classrooms will be sized to accommodate a full complement of students as well as small clusters of collaborative independent learners. A centrally located literacy center will be divided into two age-appropriate spaces and include resources and technology to encourage reading and research.

flexible classroom

The new school will be constructed on a vacant 12.5 acre parcel situated between I-95 and the Delaware River. This prominent position provides a number of exciting design opportunities. The site will be arranged so that the school building, outdoor program areas, and athletic fields take maximum advantage of the wonderful views afforded by the river. The building’s high visibility from the highway offers the potential to project an eye-catching aesthetic that reflects the school’s progressive program. KCBA’s initial concept for the building features a contemporary mix of architectural forms and construction materials as well as sweeping expanses of glass.

Currently in schematic design, KCBA is working closely with the school administration and project stakeholders in a fast-track project approach.

KCBA Architects to Design New Municipal Complex

KCBA Architects is pleased to announce a commission to design a new municipal complex in South Hanover Township, Pennsylvania. Slated for a vacant 12-acre parcel, the complex will consist of a new township administration facility and a new fire station for the Union Deposit Volunteer Fire Company collectively comprising roughly 25,000 sq. ft.

An intensive architectural selection process for the project consisted of a qualifications submission, a proposal submission, and lastly an interview with a series of finalists. Paul McNamee, PE, President of McNamee Strategic Consulting, LLC managed the selection process for the township and will work closely with KCBA throughout design and construction to ensure the township’s needs and goals are met. “We had a number of very highly qualified architectural firms but the township ultimately selected KCBA due to their experience with similar projects and the relationship garnered by their team during the interview,” he stated. “Their conceptual layouts were right on target for the site with a vision that prioritized functional needs coupled with the potential for the complex to be a center for community activities.”

new fire building

The new administration building will feature a full complement of facilities for township management and administrative departments, the township tax office, and the board of supervisors as well as spaces to accommodate public meetings and events. The new fire station will include apparatus bays, equipment maintenance and storage facilities, a decontamination area, communications room, offices, and recreational spaces for volunteers.

KCBA is working closely with the township to craft a solution that achieves their operational, budgetary, and schedule requirements. Key design considerations include providing a configuration that caters to the public’s needs and invites their use, addressing the integration of emergency response activities and public functions, implementing sustainable and efficient building strategies, and establishing an aesthetic that is modern yet also celebrates the traditional agricultural forms and materials of the township.

New Catholic Church to Serve Hispanics Under Construction

A new church to serve the people of Hispanic heritage in southern Chester County Pennsylvania is currently under construction and on schedule to open in the summer of 2011. The new St. Rocco Catholic Church is the result of the dedication of a number of key parties including Monsignor Frank Depman who has been ministering to the Spanish-speaking members of several local churches since the early 1990’s; Rocco Abessinio, a businessman who funded the new church; and the tight-knit, energized community of Misión Santa Maria, Madre de Dios, who will make up the new parish.


While Misión Santa Maria has been serving Hispanic Catholics since 1992, a void existed as local churches lacked the language skills and resources to appropriately accommodate the nearly 3,000 families in the community. In addition to providing a welcoming and culturally familiar place to worship, the new Saint Rocco Parish will continue Misión Santa Maria’s work to support the community’s social needs and assist them in negotiating the challenges of their new culture.

side view

Located on a beautiful rural site, the new church was designed to establish a comfortable environment by reflecting both the aesthetic and functional traditions of the largely Mexican congregation. Designed by KCBA Architects, the new 500-seat church was inspired by the famed Mission San Juan Capistrano in California. Highlights of the design include a stucco exterior, bell tower and cupola, retablo wall, and the reuse of furniture and appointments from other area churches. A simple axial floor plan will support a heavy reliance on processions during services. A large outdoor plaza will host the congregation’s extensive outdoor activities and events as well as lead to a formal, ceremonial entrance to the building.

The first national parish designated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for Hispanics, the new church will celebrate its first mass on August 16, 2011 to coincide with the Feast of Saint Rocco.

Harriton High School Prepares to Open

The Lower Merion School District is preparing to welcome the first class of students to the new Harriton High School on September 8th. Designed by KCBA Architects, the 328,000 square foot building features a wide variety of spaces to accommodate the breadth of the School District’s curriculum and is on target to receive LEED Gold Certification.

Located on a tight 50-acre site that contains the existing high school (a collection of nine free-standing buildings) and associated parking and athletic facilities, one of the project’s primary challenges was to maintain safe and seamless operation of the academic program through the construction and site restoration. KCBA and the School District’s construction manager devised a carefully orchestrated strategy that involved six discrete phases over four years. A number of measures were taken to maximize available space such as conversion of the stadium’s field from grass to artificial turf to provide a more consistent and drainable playing surface capable of supporting heavier use. Another playfield was temporarily converted for staff and student parking during the construction phase and employed porous asphalt paving for enhanced stormwater management.


The new school features a diverse array of learning, activity, and support spaces to accommodate the enrollment of 1,250 students. In addition to the general purpose classrooms, science laboratories, art classrooms, and music rehearsal spaces typically found in a high school, Harriton also features a lecture hall with tiered seating to help prepare students for the college environment, a black box theater to be utilized by several departments as well as the drama program, and a lofty, glass-encased library that serves as the building’s exterior focal point and interior anchor.

The original Harriton High School, designed by Vincent Kling and completed in 1957, was built in what has become known as the “California Style” as it initially consisted of four distinct buildings connected by a series of covered walkways with a paved central courtyard. Mindful of the community’s fondness for this unique outdoor space, KCBA included a secure, landscaped courtyard as a central component of the new building design. The butterfly roof over the second floor library and buff masonry exterior walls with white accents also evoke the forms and materials of the original high school. Several other features have been carried over into the new building as sustainable design strategies such as proper orientation of the classroom wings, broad expanses of glazing in the classrooms, and shading devices on the south-facing glass to take maximum advantage of daylighting opportunities.


The new high school reflects the School District’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency. The site features several innovative stormwater management strategies including bio-infiltration swales in the parking lot to collect and treat rainwater for recharge into the ground and an underground storage tank which takes water from the roof and recycles it in the building as gray water to flush toilets. To build upon the facility’s careful placement and orientation, daylight harvesting is employed to reduce electricity use and the cooling load on mechanical equipment. Light fixtures, mechanical equipment, and controls were carefully selected to provide a healthy learning environment which uses less energy and water than the original – and smaller – high school.

This project is one of two new high schools concurrently designed by KCBA for the Lower Merion School District. The new 330,000 square foot Lower Merion High School is also under construction and on schedule to open for the 2010-2011 academic year. Following occupancy of the new Harriton High School, demolition of the existing buildings will take place and the site’s athletic fields, student parking lots, and final landscaping will be installed with final completion scheduled for spring 2011.

KCBA Hired to Design Church Expansion

KCBA Architects is pleased to announce a commission to plan and design a major expansion of St. Joseph’s Church in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.

A vibrant parish serving both the year-round and seasonal shore communities, KCBA was first hired in 2007 to study their existing facilities and explore opportunities to accommodate their growing congregation. The original 200-seat sanctuary, a cherished structure that has served the Sea Isle City Catholic community since the mid-19th century, presents a spatial challenge in hosting large summer masses and lacks modern facility elements such as air conditioning and handicapped access. The primary objective of the study was to explore options that enabled the facility to meet the church’s changing needs while preserving its existing aesthetic and context.

interior rendering

After collaborating with the church on a number of prospective solutions, the design scheme that was ultimately developed for implementation is the conversion of the existing 200-seat sanctuary into a daily mass chapel and construction of a new 1,000-seat sanctuary linked via support spaces to the original structure. In addition to meeting their needs and providing modern amenities, a primary goal of the design is to complement and maintain the prominence of the original structure. This will be accomplished through similar building positioning, massing, and scale as well as analogous architectural features and building materials.

KCBA looks forward to continuing our relationship with St. Joseph’s Church to meet their facility needs while celebrating their history.