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Perth Amboy High School Design Competition, Perth Amboy, NJ
471,436 SF gross area
The proposal creates an urban campus environment that emphasizes interaction among the students through a wide range of public spaces coupled with intimate class settings.  
The idea of small class sizes being most critical to student performance is the foundation for many education departments throughout the USA; however, studies have shown that student performance is improved more by smaller schools than by smaller class sizes.  The design simulates the small school atmosphere by providing separate buildings for each of the different academies as well as for other school functions.  Because the academies serve as “schools within schools”, the different buildings do not duplicate building services and create a more intimate atmosphere for students to learn and socialize with their peers.  The buildings run along three sides of the site to enclose the School Yard, a large landscaped piazza.  The buildings are connected via a spine running through them.  Each connection creates an Interior Commons for exhibitions and student/faculty congregations.
The academies line the north side of the site along Chamberlain Avenue.  The Main Entrance and most public functions of the high school, such as the Central Administration, Auditorium, and Media Center, are located on the east side of the site along Convery Boulevard, a major street connecting the school with downtown Perth Amboy.  The Physical Education/Fitness Center is located on the west side of the site and adjacent the sports fields to the South.  The Cafeteria, which is adjacent to the Main Entrance, opens up onto the East side of the School Yard during nice weather.  Underground parking is provided at the North half of the site below the academies and can be accessed from both Convery Boulevard and Chamberlain Avenue. 
Schools impart knowledge through teaching as well as by example.  The new Perth Amboy High School will promote environmental awareness and conservation through its energy conscious sustainable design.  Use of renewable woods, reclaimed aggregate concrete, and repetitive building systems are some methods that contribute to the sustainability of the project.  Life cycle costs will be reduced by extensive use of glass and energy efficient windows to optimize passive solar heating and minimize electrical lighting requirements.  External louvers and shading elements prevent heat gain and high ceiling heights with operable windows act as thermal chimneys during warmer temperatures.  Solar panels over the extensive roof surface area will also supplement the school’s energy requirements.  Rain water collected in underground cisterns will be used for non-potable needs such as landscaping.        
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