Michael Ohar
Michael Ohar
October 18, 2019

From Buffalo to Pittsburgh: A Look at 3 Exciting K12 School Projects

Michael Ohar
Michael Ohar

As the K12 practice leader for CannonDesign’s Buffalo Office, I’m proud to team with districts across the state and region to help them address challenges and seize opportunities in ways that have real positive impact on student education and outcomes. As part of this role, I’m also committed to communicating regularly about K12 trends, project updates and more.

Our K12 team in Buffalo is currently working on numerous important projects with different districts. Here’s a look at three of those and what makes each of them unique:

On the Boards: Seneca Valley (Kindergarten-Grade 6)
Our Pittsburgh office is working with Seneca Valley School District to design its new Elementary and Middle School in the Cranberry Township and our Buffalo team is helping with the project. It’s a unique opportunity as we’ve teamed with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh to create research-based, leading-edge learning environments for the students. This partnership unites our K12 design expertise with the museum’s deep understanding for creating hands-on children’s learning environments and experiences to fuel learning. The overall design placed an emphasis on collaboration with student break-out spaces, and a connection to the outdoors with outdoor classroom spaces.

We believe the results of this partnership will strengthen the Seneca Valley District, learning outcomes for its students, and serve as a model for how K12 schools can better inspire and engage students and teachers across the region and nationally.

In Construction: Rochester Public Schools, East High School
We’ve helped Rochester Public Schools develop a master plan and exciting path forward for its East High School under the Rochester Schools Modernization Program. As part of this effort, we’re updating existing classrooms to better support the High School educational program and have provided new CTE (Career Technical Education) spaces, with modern instructional areas within a dedicated wing of the school. As part of the modernization project, the entire building infrastructure will be reconstructed to upgrade all building systems, utilities, technology, security, clocks as well as support space to best support the student body.

Recently Completed: Park School Knopp-Hailpern Science Center
Park School of Buffalo recently opened a new science center that significantly advances science learning opportunities for students. It’s the first new academic building on their campus in more than 50 years and offers students five state-of-the-art classroom spaces.

The purposeful decision to leave the ceilings exposed and utilities visible helps The Park School put science on display for its students each day. This concept of science on display is amplified thanks to the extensive use of glass curtain wall throughout that allows staff and students to always be connected with the outdoors. The building includes an interactive space geared for younger learners, the Berardi Field Station, designed with a glass overhead door for easy access to the nearby pond and marsh to help students move between the building and surrounding outdoors quickly to conduct research.