Project Stories: York Academy Upper School
Collaboration is Key
at York Academy Upper School
On the path to success – be it academic or architectural – one essential element prevails.
Progress is achieved through the strength of collaboration. Both the philosophy and the success of the new York Academy Upper School is driven by this principle.
Situated in the epicenter of development in York’s Northwest Triangle, the Upper School opened its doors for the 2018-2019 school year and is a shining example of the power of winning partnerships. York Academy Regional Charter School, architect Warehaus and Wagman Construction made for a stellar team in the design and construction of the school.
“The people that I had the opportunity to work with both at Wagman and Warehaus were top quality people – highly motivated, outside the box thinkers, which was very important to the construction of this building.”
Dennis Baughman, Ed. D,
Chief Executive Officer of York Academy Regional Charter School
“The school means a great deal to the community because York is fortunate to have one of the only International Baccalaureate schools in the area – it brings an opportunity for children in York County to participate in a highly academic program.” – Dennis Baughman, Ed. D
The successful partnership left all three organizations eager to work together in the future.
In the spirit of York Academy Regional Charter School’s mission, the Upper School’s design is focused on solutions to support the International Baccalaureate curriculum and collaboration among students and faculty. It’s placement in York also set the stage for its design.
“The new location of the York Academy upper school provided some incredible opportunities. The building is essentially centered in York in a way that it sits above the creek. The whole design intent was to elevate the students as the first act every morning, and with a big corner of glass they would be able to look back over the city.”
Director of Design – Warehaus
Warehaus partnered with the school to develop a classification of learning spaces, with customized seating and areas for collaborative learning.
“One of the great things about our relationship with York Academy is the level of trust they had in us to lead them through the process of programming and development of this building.” – Jonathan Wehri
The facility features five academic houses that surround the media center, which serves as the heart of the school. Warehaus created a toolkit for each house that ties into group spaces, like the media center, to bring everyone together.
The variety of learning spaces brought the challenge of promoting the appropriate energy and function of each type of space through the selection of interior finishes. A neutral background set the foundation for the interior design, allowing pops of color in carpet and furniture selections to create distinct spaces throughout the five academic houses. At the heart of the school, a bold carpet pattern in the middle of the media center centralizes the focus with radiating color.
As Warehaus’ office is located just across the creek from the school, the end result has been a particularly rewarding reminder of the success of the collaboration and its impact on the city.
“What I love about this building is seeing the kids in it every day. I can look across the creek and see the life that it has brought to this corner of the city, which is pretty spectacular.” – Jonathan Wehri