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Transforming Neumann Goretti High School

Transforming Neumann Goretti High School
See Neumann Goretti High School - before and after - and hear the story of its transformation from school leaders, students, and our volunteers in this video.

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. 

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