Entry Title: "
Williamsport Area Middle School"
Category: Professional, Public
Designer(s): McKissick Associates PC - Architects
Vern L. McKissick, III, AIA, LEED AP, CEFP, SARA acted as Principal-in-Charge, Carl J. Kanaskie, Jr., AIA, LEED AP acted as Project Architect and Project Manager, Robert A. Oettl, Jr., AIA, LEED AP acted as Construction Administrator, Benjamin Crum, Assoc. AIA acted as Architectural Designer, Kristen McKissick acted as the Interior Designer
This project was first proposed by McKissick Associates' planning staff in 1995 and finally undertaken in 2010 as part of a district-wide restructuring plan that yielded the operational cost savings necessary to pay for the project. McKissick Associates' district facility optimization study detailed comparisons of new construction versus renovation scenarios and narrowed the options based on needs, expediency and financial feasibility. A series of town hall meetings seeking community input resulted in the decision to reconstruct a vacant 1949, cast-in-place concrete school, once featured on the cover of Architectural Record.
The inclusive, transparent study process continued into the design phase with the establishment of a building advisory team (BAT) which met monthly throughout the project. The BAT's chief concern was transforming what the community perceived to be a dingy and imposing, concrete edifice into an uplifting 21st century school. Three years later, its simple geometric forms and patterns acknowledge the buildings art deco roots while creating a very modern first impression. Designed as a LEED Gold facility (certification projected), the entrance is capped with a green roof flanking the knowledge commons and projects an image of a school that embraces modern values of sustainable practices.