Widener University
Partnership Charter School

In an urban setting with limited educational options, Widener University partnered with community leaders and residents to create a charter school. Beginning with just one incoming class in 2006, the charter school was thriving and ready to add a middle school component as part of its continual expansion and growth.

KSS Architects worked together with the partnership to determine the space program and requirements for a middle school that would become a beacon of the university's partnership with the local community. We evaluated multiple solutions, including addition to the existing building, a standalone middle school on an alternative property, and the economics of leasing or buying.

After reviewing the solutions, the university decided an addition to the existing building would maximize its investment, eliminate duplications in staffing, and create a cohesive single learning environment for the whole of the school. The project provides spacious amenities for students to learn and grow such as a large gymnasium and assembly space. Located close to the university, the school continues to bring more families to the campus and strengthen town and gown relations. The connection also allows for resource sharing: Classrooms used by middle school students during the day can also accommodate university students at night.

Project Highlights
Chester, Pennsylvania

Program: Feasibility study for and completion of middle school addition for grades 6-8

Size: 30,000 sf existing, 21,000 sf addition

Features: Classrooms, multipurpose room, gymnasium

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