Tulpehocken Area School District broke ground yesterday on additions and renovations to their existing junior/senior high school that will be transformed into a 6-12th grade middle school high school over the next 2-1/2 years. A project that has been discussed for decades, planning began in earnest in 2019, delayed in 2020 by COVID, the community and school board refocused on the future of secondary education in Tulpehocken, Berks County the past two years resulting in bids being approved this summer for a $67 Million project that will be nearly 220,000 square feet in size when complete in early 2026.
CRA was honored to attend the groundbreaking Wednesday morning, where 3rd grade through high school students attended with community members, school board, administration and design and construction teams. When the building is complete the 3rd grade students will be the first class of 6th graders to attend the newly completed school in 2026, marking a commitment to the future of education in Tulpehocken.
Tulpehocken Area Middle High School will serve approximately 800 students, 6th through 12th grade and is the result a feasibility study in 2019/2020 to evaluate updating the mid 1960’s high school that had grown through additions over 55 years, the school was disjointed and did not serve the current educational model that Tulpehocken Area School District.
The design reorganizes the school to focus upon 21st century principles of collaborative and independent educational learning, sustainability and safe school design. Classrooms are organized into pods of classrooms incorporating open collaborative zones and small group instruction with localized support program to maximize instructional time.
The design creates two schools within one facility which share common program spaces including circulation corridors, media center, visual and performing arts, cafeteria, and physical education.
The exterior of the building is designed to tie into the local agrarian community and landscape through a series of gabled roof lines and a goal to daylight all educational program space within the school.