Lower Merion School District held a topping out ceremony on June 3rd at the site of the new Lower Merion Middle School in Villanova, Pa. A highlight of the event was a beam-signing by the Middle School Ambassadors, current 3rd and 4th graders from Penn Wynne and Gladwyne elementary schools, who will be among the first students to attend the new school when it opens in September 2022.
IMC Construction started building the 208,000-SF, three-story middle school in September 2020 and the project is on track to be completed by September 2022. The new building will feature multiple gymnasia and a theater with retractable seating in the public areas right off the main entrance, along with a "heart" area, where students can congregate to socialize and collaborate. Traditional classrooms will be replaced by "learning communities" -- flexible spaces for either large-group team teaching, small group instruction, or student collaboration. The middle school campus will also have a multi-purpose field, a practice field, track and tennis courts.
"We're extremely proud to be bringing a brand-new middle school to the Lower Merion School District," said Robert Cottone, President and CEO of IMC Construction. "This school will bring new opportunities to the community, and the new features of the building will give students a unique learning experience."
Lower Merion School District Superintendent Robert Copeland said the topping off marked an exciting milestone not only for the District and its students, but also for the entire community. "The new Lower Merion Middle School was designed to align with our Strategic Plan, All Forward, which emphasizes student voice and transformative curriculum for our 21st century learners. Seeing these aspirational concepts reflected in the physical structure that we topped off today should be a point of pride for everyone in Lower Merion and Narberth who so generously support our schools."
This will be the third middle school for the Lower Merion District due to its growing enrollment rate. The new middle school will serve grades 5-8 from Penn Wynne and Gladwyne elementary schools. The district is in the process of choosing a name, school colors, and mascot.
The Lower Merion Middle School project team includes construction manager IMC Construction; project construction manager Sitelogiq; architect Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc. and Fielding International; civil engineer Chester Valley Engineers; MEP engineer Snyder Hoffman Associates; and structural engineer Baker, Ingram, & Associates.