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Design Services Updates: Fellowship Farm, Wynne Ballroom, and green schoolyards

  • A vignette from the conceptual master plan illustrating an engaging future for Fellowship Farm.


A multi-talented team of Collaborative volunteers has completed a conceptual master plan for Fellowship Farm, an education and retreat center in Sanatoga, PA with a proud history of leadership development and social change.

The volunteer team was fielded by the AIA Philadelphia’s Regional Architects Committee, which recruited key professionals for the team from the suburban Philadelphia architectural community. The team encompassed professionals from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, preservation, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and cost estimating.

They worked closely with Fellowship Farm’s task force to assess existing facilities and develop an engaging long-term vision for the 120-acre campus that includes new dormitories, meeting spaces, a museum, a barn for farm animals, trails, nature education, an outdoor pavilion, campground, playgrounds and playing fields.

Thanks to David Tulin, executive director of Fellowship Farm, and the entire volunteer team:

Constance Lezenby Architects, LLC, Lansdale, PA Constance A. Lezenby, AIA Sandra Szabo, RA

Glackin Thomas Panzak, Inc., Paoli, PA Bernard Panzak, Jr., ASLA Chris H. Garrity Matthew Caucci, ASLA

sbk + partners, LLC, Ardmore, PA Suzanna Barucco

Thornton Tomasetti, Philadelphia, PA Sean Levengood, PE

N.E. Fisher & Associates, Boyertown, PA Neal Fisher, PE

Bruce E. Brooks & Associates, Philadelphia, PA Evan Pappas

C. Erickson & Sons, Inc., Philadelphia, PA Patrick Snoke

New life for the Wynne Ballroom We worked with the Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation in 2009 to study re-use options for this neighborhood landmark, vacant for nearly 20 years. In February, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority issued a Request for Proposals to redevelop the Wynne site. Mixed-use development with a preservation component is encouraged in the RFP.

Meadows and Trees for Cook-Wissahickon Cook Wissahickon Elementary School has received a $27,000 matching grant from the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund to install a native meadow framing its main entrance on Salaignac Street. The meadow will enhance stormwater control and filtration and extend the habitats of nearby Fairmount Park. New trees will also be planted as part of greening the schoolyard.

The project is the first phase of a 2009 conceptual landscape plan by the Collaborative. The school recently hosted a potluck dinner to thank everyone who helped them with their green school curriculum and improvements. Work on the meadow starts this spring with hands-on help from the Delaware Valley Green Building Council's Emerging Professionals Committee.

  • Blooming plans: Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School recognized our contributions to the school’s greening initiatives. (l to r) Suzanna Fabry, Linda Dottor, Tavis Dockwiller, and Jason Sandman.



Greening Urban  Schoolyards Greening schoolyards continues to gain momentum in other places as well. In January, Lea and Kelly Elementary Schools, the focus of our Transforming Urban Schoolyards design charrette, began mobilizing their school communities.

Julie Scott of the West Philadelphia Coalition for Neighborhood Schools presented at West Philadelphia’s Henry C. Lea Elementary School, prompting praise for Lea’s community engagement and potential. Dennis Barneby of Hansberry Garden and Nature Center presented to John B. Kelly Elementary School. "Engaging students in how to take care of the place that they live is really important... these are the future residents of our neighborhoods."

A Nature Center for Meadowood In 2012, Meadowood Elementary School in Worcester, PA has raised $115,000 in grants and matching contributions to move forward with priorities outlined in a Collaborative conceptual master plan for a community nature center. The grant will fund the retrofit of an existing stormwater basin and installation of a series of uphill rain gardens.

The nature center will encompass the campus and the adjacent Meadowood Retirement Community and serve multi-generational nature lovers. Ciro Tornambe, a Meadowood parent reports that “we plan to build on our success" and the school will pursue additional funding in 2013.

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