University School is an independent school for boys with two campuses in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. ABA completed a detailed space program for the 1970 Upper School campus in Hunting Valley and a master plan for the Lower and Middle School campus located within a National Register Historic District of Shaker Heights. This master plan proposed a multi-phase approach to renovation and expansion for the campus’ 225,000 square feet of buildings, retaining the essence of the original 1926 construction while addressing changing academic needs.
The first phase of ABA’s master plan for the Shaker Heights campus has been completed. It created a new security vestibule, expanded a cramped crossroads foyer as a large and welcoming reception area, and transformed a space originally designed as a chapel to be the dining commons. An existing stair, stage, and masonry bearing walls were removed and replaced by a steel structural system. A new open stair connects to the workshops and art studios on the lower level, while lighting, a custom area rug, and seating add color, warmth, and comfort for all in the school community. A glazed wall offers dramatic visual connectivity to the adjacent dining commons, a flexible space that supports collaborative learning when not used for dining. Working with the Maine furniture maker Thomas Moser, ABA designed round dining tables to seat individual student home rooms, while being easily disassembled and stored for special events. The commons will become a campus living room when a new dining addition is completed in the third phase of the master plan.
Location: Shaker Heights, Ohio
Project Size: 16,000 sf
Project Team: Thomas Hotaling AIA; Steve Gerrard AIA; Robert Carroll AIA; Amanda Malone; Kat Ernst (ABA); Karpinski Engineering (MEP/FP/IT/Civil); Thorson Baker + Associates (Structural); Solutions Engineering, Inc. (Code); The Albert M. Higley Co. (Cost); Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting (Lighting); Crabtree McGrath Associates, Inc. (Food Service); Kalin Associates (Specifications); Peter Vanderwarker (Photography)