South Fayette Township School DistrictHigh School Addition and Alteration ProjectSouth Fayette School District selected Eckles Architecture to renovate and expand the original High School. Rooted on the principles of Tradition, Pride, and Excellence the school district sought to capitalize on the influence of technology and collaboration on the educational system. As a result, one of the additions has been dubbed “The Innovation / Creativity Hub”. It will serve as the centerpiece for project based learning and developing 21st century critical thinking skills. This hands-on collaboration will be fostered in a state of the art Fabrication, Engineering & Manufacturing Labs, Studio, Media, and Digital Art classrooms. The rooms are situated to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and visual transparency. The building facilitates collaboration by the creation of non-traditional gathering and encounter spaces throughout the building. Multiple Circular Design spaces are located in the building to allow students to come together to brainstorm ideas and problem solve. Additionally, it is anticipated the ICH will serve the community by giving residents access to the high end technology and equipment that would otherwise be limited.
Since increased enrollment was the driving force behind this project additional classrooms will be added to the existing wings along with a center addition nestled between. The central addition will provide alternative circulation between the two wings and alleviate overcrowded corridors. As the new epicenter of the building, students will have visual and physical connection to the expanded Cafeteria and updated Media Center through a two story open space capped with clerestory windows and a rotunda. Students will be able to traverse the grand staircase or mingle with fellow classmates on the sitting steps and raised garden below. Two new circulation paths connecting the center addition to the academic wings will encapsulate two courtyard spaces serving as outdoor classrooms. They will be open air to the sky with large glass curtain walls looking out over the hills of South Fayette.
The five new additions will continue the traditional masonry architecture of the campus featuring classical columns anchoring the building to the site. The traditional masonry wall will be enhanced by a continuous insulation wall system to exceed today’s building standards. Exceptional Learning environments will be achieved through the use of large curtain walls and clerestory windows that will flood the interior of the building with daylight.