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Northeast Community Propel Academy

Architecture, interior design, and civil engineering services to design a learning environment

  • 95

    Acre School District Campus

  • 180K

    Square Feet

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Stakeholder collaboration was key in defining a new pedagogical model for a trusted client

The new K-8 school on Ryan Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia was a design-build turnkey project. The Stantec-Gilbane team was selected by the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) to avoid the extended timeframes normally associated with multi-prime bidding processes and to help manage the associated financial risks by securing a guaranteed maximum price (GMP). 

Designing a modern educational facility for SDP started with the recognition that all learning is social. Our team then began design by considering the appropriate size for “groups within the group,” acknowledging that scaling the facility would be key to fostering the sense of intimacy required to support the new learning models. Working together in a shared “Big Room” hosted by Stantec, every stakeholder explored design strategies and options in a collaborative and integrated fashion. Our knowledge of SDP’s standards and ability to navigate Philadelphia’s regulatory agencies helped the project team remain on schedule.

We also assisted with the community engagement process, and based on the feedback, the design team designed spaces that will foster collaborative learning and reinforce the connection to the Pennypack Park—a rich, and rare natural environment within a densely urban area of Philadelphia.

Meet Our Team

Bill Bradley, Principal, Buildings

What’s exciting is discovering the opportunities that lie hidden at the intersection of education and architecture. Possibilities abound!

Tom Foley, Associate

The most effective designs come from a willingness to listen to and engage each team member—and thoughtfully apply each person’s expertise.

Jennifer Grafton, Principal

I’m a problem solver—I love working collaboratively to find solutions to complex problems.

Krista Van Wassen, Interior Designer

An intentionally designed space should resonate with the soul of a community, weaving together both functionality and a sense of belonging.

Bill  Bradley

Principal, Buildings

Tom Foley


Jennifer Grafton


Krista Van Wassen

Interior Designer

We're better together

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    Partner with us today to change how tomorrow looks. You’re exactly what’s needed to help us make it happen in your community.

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  • Design your career

    Work with passionate people who are experts in their field. Our teams love what they do and are driven by how their work makes an impact on the communities they serve.

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