Shaker Heights, Ohio


University School is an independent school for boys with two campuses on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio: the c. 1970 Upper School in rural Hunting Valley and the c. 1926 Lower and Middle School in suburban Shaker Heights. In 2007, ABA completed a detailed space program of the 250,000-square-foot Hunting Valley campus, confirming existing conditions and programmatic needs for the Upper School.

In 2019, ABA completed a master plan for the 225,000-square-foot Shaker Heights campus, a local landmark within a National Register Historic District. The master plan retains the presence of the original campus while addressing changing academic needs, acknowledging the importance of this balance for both the school and for the surrounding residential community. This concern and other key program elements were confirmed in more than 40 focus group sessions with campus and community stakeholders.

A space program and diagrams proposing limited demolition, extensive renovation, and new construction were translated to conceptual planning options for review with the school, then advanced for a final planning strategy. Renovation of existing spaces were prioritized as low, medium, and high for cost-control purposes, with an emphasis on optimizing the building’s potential for accommodating inevitable future changes in academic pedagogy.

The resulting master plan preserves the historical core of the campus while adding two new academic buildings and a new dining commons. The plan also calls for the expansion of the athletic wing through the addition of a competition swimming pool, an additional gymnasium, weight rooms, offices, and new locker rooms. Working with the school’s Construction Manager, ABA developed a phased implementation plan, with magnitude-of-cost estimates for each phase. ABA has completed Phase 1A, converting the school’s chapel as a temporary dining commons and expanding the original entrance lobby as a welcoming multi-purpose reception area.

Location: Shaker Heights, Ohio
Project Size: 225,000 sf

Project Team: Thomas Hotaling AIA; Steve Gerrard AIA; Robert Carroll AIA; Amanda Malone (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)