Neumann Goretti High School, built in 1955 and barely updated since then, is exchanging its "old-school vibe" for a new school environment that is welcoming... collaborative... global... and sustainable. To help with its transformation, the school enlisted the expertise of the Community Design Collaborative.
Neumann Goretti worked with a team of nine design professionals led by KSS Architects that also included skilled volunteers from db-3d, Aterra Solutions, LLC, Gardner Fox Associates, and landscape architectural designer Angela Fleegle. Together, they envisioned a more informal, collaborative learning environment for its college-bound students. The focus was on quickly transforming the spaces that will have the most impact on student life: the entrances, cafeteria, and library.
With plan in hand, Neumann Goretti raised $60,000 from its Class of '52. Their donations were used to create a new lounge space in the cafeteria with bean bag chairs, bleachers with charging stations, a "Saints" super graphic, and a special zone for games like corn toss. The traditional library swapped much of its shelving for comfy IKEA sofas and round tables to accommodate break-out groups and team projects. Most dramatically, the chain link fence at the school's front entrance has been replaced with a rain garden.
Video produced by Mowa Li, University of Pennsylvania. Photos by Joe Pulcinella Photography.