Built in 1974, West Allegheny Middle School will undergo a major renovation project beginning in June 2023 school year. This comes as the school board approved the estimated $40 million project and the schematic designs presented by the architectural firm Hayes Design Group. Renovation discussions have been ongoing for several years as the board and administrators recognize the need to provide significant updates to the school to meet the needs of students and staff.
Prior to starting the design phase, District and school administrators and representatives from Hayes Design Group met with middle school teachers and staff during listening sessions to gather feedback from those working in the school on a daily basis. This input helped shape the school’s new design that will include a building expansion as well as interior and exterior upgrades.
The building addition will be utilized for new classrooms and an expansive, multi-use LGI room with a dedicated large group instructional space that can be configured to accommodate band, choral, or theatrical performances, lectures, and dance classes. The space will include modern telescoping auditorium style seating that can accommodate 350 people and room for additional seating for over 140 people. The second floor of the expansion will house a think tank that will serve as a forum for open classroom teaching, provide a space for interdisciplinary learning, and group collaboration. The interior will also see new classroom configurations to increase the number of general education classrooms to accommodate future enrollment growth, and a new Sixth Grade Academy will be conveniently housed on the first floor. In addition to the creation of a new state-of-the-art media center, major renovations will be made to the academic and arts classrooms; the gymnasium; locker, weight and fitness rooms; and the cafeteria and kitchen. A new, expanded administration suite will also include the guidance offices and nurse’s suite.
The scope of renovations also includes new HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems as well as energy efficient, computer controlled LED lighting. Another major renovation feature will be the introduction of skylights and windows, which will significantly increase natural light streaming into educational spaces and corridors. A high-speed computer network will accommodate flexible and innovative technology.
In addition, new outdoor lighting and landscaping will enhance the school’s exterior along with sidewalk, parking lot and drive lane improvements. The façade of the building will receive a complete makeover with modern, mixed medium materials and finishes to provide a welcoming environment for students, staff and visitors.
With the middle school project kicking off in June 2023, District administrators worked with the architects and contractors to ensure the multi-phased construction schedule will allow students to remain in the building with the least impact on instruction. District and school leaders are excited to begin construction and are confident the renovations will provide an inviting learning environment that will meet the educational needs of our students, staff and community for years to come.