Project Info

Seneca, PA
2019 – anticipated fall 2022

180,000 GSF new construction

AOR: CannonDesign
MEP/FP: Tower Engineering
Civil: Herbert Rowland & Grubic
Landscape: Moore Design Assoc
Structural: Barber & Hoffman

Project Responsibilities

Lead team to simplify and detail the complex exterior design and material set

Eliminated nearly $100,000 by proposing battery back-up in lieu of generator

Lead extensive engineering coordination through Contract Document phase

Saved nearly $300,000 by simplifying the ceiling and fire protection systems

Ehrman Road Elementary


The Brief

This school was designed around several organizing principals. First is to provide a separate identity for their lower school (grades K-4) and upper school (grades 5-6). There is a common core of spaces such as their library, cafeteria, music and office spaces. 

The school has a network of collaboration areas, small group rooms and learning exhibits that are created in partnership with the local children’s museum.


Small group rooms are integral to successful outcomes with diverse learners. These are intermixed with larger education spaces for all.


The use of color on the exterior symbolizes the use within, while strong emphasis on color inside creates smaller neighborhoods within the larger building.


Sited on a hilly, Greenfield site, the topography creates the opportunity to exit directly on grade at both levels and create a variety of exterior plazas and terraces


The larger shared learning spaces, as well as areas around the building have interactive learning exhibits and display areas that were developed with the help of a local children’s museum.

Select Detailing

The school is organized in three primary zones; a lower school wing for grades 1-4, an upper school for grades 5-6 and the remaining specialty spaces such as library, cafeteria, auditorium and kindergarten classrooms. 

Just past the main entrance is the large cafeteria with full-height glazing at its far end and is overlooked by the kindergarten classrooms. The building is served by a storm shelter, which doubles as the music and band instruction areas and opens off the central cafeteria area. The library and makerspace are also located in this area. 

The double-loaded classroom corridors are not parallel, instead diverging from one another which creates an interstitial space that is leveraged as a shared common resource for the adjacent classrooms and has a number of small group rooms.

Shared Learning spaces

The shared learning spaces each have a different character which tie directly to the needs of the students they are serving. These spaces are used for large group work, as a place for students to receive additional instruction, or to work independently.

Students can move throughout the building to find different features and capabilities. This is especially true of the learning exhibits which are often found in a shared learning space and have a variety of specific lessons being supported directly by the architecture. 

Three Sides to every story

The school has three major facades, each with key elements in the design.

The main entrance is centered between the upper and lower school classrooms on the south east facade. The south west facade is punctuated by the secondary entrance and the kindergarten terrace.

The storm shelter and photo-voltaic terrace are found on the north east elevation.