Featured in the October 2019 issue of Learning by Design magazine, Ephrata High School and RLPS Architects received an Award of Excellence for their newly redesigned media center. A full renovation of the media center and surrounding areas of the school began as part of an interactive student design challenge in 2017. Students collaborated in small groups to create plans for a renovation and worked alongside District administrators and architects to bring their ideas to life. The project was finished in 2019 and includes more areas to facilitate small-group and project-based learning, technology, collaboration, communication, and more components of 21st century learning.
A judging panel discussed and looked for unique and new concepts being implemented to improve education facility building design. Projects, such as the Ephrata High School Media Center, were scored on six measures: Innovation, Community Need, Interior Design, Sustainability, Functional Design, and 21st Century Learning.
The judging panel commented, “This is a wonderful example of how to renovate an old fashion high school library to meet modern pedagogy, student taste, contemporary social community customs in multiple cluster oriented, light infused, bright spaces. The learning stairs, the cafe, labs and acoustically appropriate study spots all add to the success of this project. The renovation brings a lively, flexible space into the interior of the building and accommodates informal learning and meeting with new technology capacities.”