April 18-20, 2013
Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel
Falk Laboratory School
4060 Allequippa Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
An extension of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education, the Falk School is a private K-8 laboratory whose primary mission is the education of its students and furthering the broader development of future educators and the learning processes they employ. The current historic facility designed by Benno Janssen and completed in 1931, housed a total of 245 students in a 28,000 sf facility.
The resulting sustainable project is an honest and exciting juxtaposition of old and new representing the inquisitive culture of the school, its students and parent community. With the completion of the 39,000 sf addition and renovation of the existing facility, the program will accommodate two full rounds in each grade with a total enrollment of more than 400 students.
As a comprehensive curriculum with a focus on group work, teaming, public presentations and performances, the very intimate and connected culture of the school was critical to preserve. With nearly doubling the enrollment, attention was paid to creating new spaces to maintain the overall density of classroom use, while focusing growth in shared areas for art programs, performances, music rehearsal and a variety of informal small group break-out spaces.
With a tight hillside site nearly fully occupied by the existing building and an addition displacing remaining open space, the design creatively replaces lost ground level access with a series of elevated and connected roof terraces. These outdoor rooms create both expanded teaching and recreation venues; plus a secondary circulation path between primary academic areas of the facility, as well as the existing building and new addition.
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The Neighborhood Academy
709 North Aiken Avenue
The Neighborhood Academy is a private school located in Pittsburgh, PA whose mission is to "break the cycle of generational poverty by preparing low-income youth for higher education." This mission includes providing a holistic college-prep education for students in grades 8-12 and developing their minds, bodies and spirits so that they might become fully productive members of society.
The Academy's unique approach includes an extended school day (8:00 am to 7:30 pm), very small classes, close and ongoing communication with families, and a college-preparatory curriculum that culminates in senior seminars in the humanities and sciences. To help students succeed academically, the Academy also provides counseling, transportation, three meals a day, and assistance with emergency needs like medical care. To foster these goals, the new facility was designed with 500 SF classrooms, a full-service kitchen, spaces for student counseling , visiting family members, and other areas for the unique challenges facing low-income students.
The faith-based, non-sectarian academy operates primarily by donations, supplemented by minimal tuition. The Academy utilized a non-linear funding strategy that included establishment of an endowment fund and development of an indoor soccer venue leased to area organizations. This strategy provides a revenue stream to sustain the Academy.
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12
111 Ninth Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 is a Creative and Performing Arts magnet school located in the heart of Pittsburgh's downtown cultural district. Acceptance is based upon completion of a successful audition or presentation of an acceptable portfolio. Students must audition for both 6th and 9th grades. Students may choose intensive artistic instruction in instrumental music, vocal music, dance movement, theatre arts (inclusive of costume and technical theatre), visual arts, and literary arts. Active professionals in the visual and performing arts, multitalented academic instructors, and visiting artists in residence are among the faculty.
CAPA 6-12 offers a challenging and integrated curriculum that equally provides world-class preparation for college and university study, and conservatory level preparation for artistic careers.
The environment at CAPA 6-12 is enhanced by partnerships and collaborations with local and national cultural organizations and universities that provide opportunities in which to explore the relationships between school, family and work.