The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Chartiers Valley Middle School & High School took place on May 31, 2016.
The ceremony included music by the Chartiers Valley Showband and the Chartiers Valley Select & Cadenza Choruses, hard hats that were painted by high school art students, a display of student work and a video preview of the new High School and Middle School. In addition, Chartiers Valley School Board members, administration, faculty, students and community representatives had the opportunity to “break ground” on the new project.
View photos of the ceremony on Flickr>>
View a video preview of the new schools>>
View video from the ceremony>>
View an overview of the visioning and programming process>>
Thank you to everybody who helped us celebrate this momentous occasion!
The current Chartiers Valley Middle School and High School opened as a High School in 1973. At the time, and for many years after, it was a cutting edge school. Nearly 40 years later, the exterior of the school and most public spaces appear to be in fair condition. Unfortunately, the buildings are experiencing many infrastructure issues.
In 2013, the school district initiated a process to determine how to improve these systems and reduce our ongoing utility and maintenance costs. The district retained the services of an architectural firm that worked in conjunction with an engineering firm and ultimately recommended the school district significantly renovate or replace the High School and Middle School.
In addition to the need for an efficiently operating infrastructure and a safe environment, the school district emphasizes the importance of preparing our students to achieve personal success by providing an exceptional academic foundation. Through Strategic Planning, the district’s curriculum, programs and course offerings continually evolve to meet the needs of today’s students. To that point, we must also consider the need for a flexible learning space that meets the needs today and tomorrow.
Keeping in mind that this project would have a significant generational community impact, the school board and administration determined that such a significant project necessitated public input and a transparent process from start to finish.
For the selection of architectural firms, the school board and administration interviewed multiple firms in public. Ultimately, IKM – in collaboration with BLRB Architects – were chosen to lead this process.
In September 2014, we invited the entire Chartiers Valley community to participate in our first Community Summit for Facilities. Over 70 attendees at the first Community Summit for Facilities represented Chartiers Valley teachers, administrators, staff, school board members, parents, students and residents. Throughout the visioning, planning and design phase, the community was invited to attend monthly Community Summits to get an update on the project, ask questions and share their feedback.
In addition to the Community Summits, the district assembled two School Design Advisory Teams – one for the High School and one for the Middle School. These teams include Chartiers Valley teachers, administrators, staff, students and parents. Over 20 School Design Advisory Team meetings occurred, which have had profound discourse on how we understand and define what learning means in our district.
Using our Strategic Plan as our guide, we have been working to reimagine the Middle School and High School learning experience to ensure our students are prepared to be successful in whatever endeavors they choose to engage.
Throughout the school design process, the district has placed an emphasis on our mission and beliefs.
As we move forward, it is important that we consider how our physical environment can impact the key components of our Strategic Plan. It is also essential that we identify the main ways in which a physical structure can positively impact learning. Through research, conversation and collaboration, we have determined:
1. Establishing a healthy environment can positively impact learning.
2. Effectively utilizing space can positively impact learning.
3. Sparking inspiration can positively impact learning.
As move from design to construction, our attention will be refocused on what happens inside of our schools. This fall, groups comprised of students, parents, faculty, staff and educators will work focused on learning and culture in our Middle School and High School. We will be using a theme to engage in conversations and learning together. That theme is: Change how you see. See how you change.
In an effort to make our schools better for every student, we must challenge ourselves and each other to Change how you see. See how you change.