“School of the Future” Wins its First International Design Award

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff September 28, 2006

After three years of planning with Microsoft and the School District of Philadelphia, The Prisco Group-designed “School of the Future” has won its first international award for an engaging, modern environment on a standard urban public-school budget. The Prisco Group, an architectural and engineering firm in Hopewell, N.J., was awarded the “Recognized Value” award for the “design in progress” as part of DesignShare/School Construction News’ sixth annual awards program, “Models for the 21st Century.”

The school, which opened its doors on September 7, 2006, resides on seven acres in West Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park and is aesthetically pleasing, technologically advanced, environmentally friendly and replicable throughout the world on a traditional budget. The project was identified as having “recognized value” in the ongoing dialogue about the design of more effective learning environments.

Scott V. Prisco, AIA, NCARB, PP, LEED AP, principal of The Prisco Group, stated, “Designing and building an energy-efficient building does not have to be costly. Benefits such as increased durability, less maintenance and energy savings are a direct result of sustainable design.”

The building will create a healthy and productive learning environment, while potentially saving the School District of Philadelphia operational dollars, and become a living textbook as students monitor and analyze building systems as part of their learning process.

The School District of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia School Improvement Team and Microsoft team picked The Prisco Group to design the 800-student, 162,000-sq.-ft. school in March 2004.

Details of the curriculum and features of the school are available at https://www.thepriscogroup.com and at https://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/sotf/default.mspx .