Stroudsburg High School – Case Study
Stroudsburg Turns to School Specialty to Update HighSchool
In 2011, the Stroudsburg Area School District in Stroudsburg, PA decided to completely overhaul Stroudsburg High School in order to offer the community a more comprehensive and cutting-edge educational environment. To achieve its lofty goals, the District needed a specialist partner to fulfill all of its furniture and equipment needs. Fortunately, the search process was not difficult. For many years, the District had worked with School Specialty, Inc., a leading distributor of educational supplies, furniture and supplemental curriculum products. School Specialty was chosen as the educational furnishing partner for the new Stroudsburg High School due to its long history of successful projects with the District.
As Stroudsburg administrators and School Specialty personnel sat down to plan the design and layout modifications to the high school, they quickly understood the vast scope of the project. Overhauling every area of the school demanded a furniture and equipment team that could meet all of the District's needs and provide industry-leading products for a wide range of learning environments. That team was School Specialty's Projects by Design (PbD) division, which has over 20 years of experience furnishing educational facilities from top to bottom. Leading this team were Tom Casperite, Projects by Design Coordinator and Jamie Kline, School Specialty Account Manager.
Casperite commented on winning the project, "Having worked with the Stroudsburg Area School District since 2003, we were proud to be selected as partners for the enhancements to Stroudsburg High School. The huge scale of the project was an exciting opportunity, as we were able to utilize our deep experience and wide range of products across so many different types of learning environments. Jobs like this are exactly what Projects by Design is all about – offering educators insight and furnishings for any and all educational objectives."
With plans for the school complete, the District and School Specialty began the overhaul in late 2011. Throughout the next two and a half years, PbD assisted the District in outfitting a huge array of areas, with the project being finalized in the summer of 2014. Stroudsburg educators set out to provide an optimum learning experience for local students no matter what their interests might be, and the sheer number of different areas that were refurbished is a testament to their conviction. Together, PbD and the District overhauled the athletic department, administrative offices, all of the science and technical labs, art and music areas, the cafeteria, the nurse's office, traditional and special needs classrooms, the library, the gymnasium, and more. This was a massive project across every area of Stroudsburg High School, and could not have been completed without the PbD team's knowledge and resources.
Jeff Sodl, Stroudsburg High School Principal noted, "School Specialty has been our furniture and equipment partner for over a decade, and I knew from the start that we could count on them to help us achieve our goals for the new Stroudsburg High. For the entire time that I have worked with them, School Specialty has always delivered exactly what we needed to offer our students the best classroom experience. Our relationship has been overwhelmingly positive, and once again they proved themselves as invaluable partners for this massive project."
PbD provided the equipment for all of the school's new facilities, and every aspect of the school has been a resounding success. Some areas are especially noteworthy, including the science and technical labs, the library and the cafeteria.
Klein said, "Utilizing our industry-leading inventory of educational products, we provided everything that the Stroudsburg District needed across all areas of the new high school. We are extremely proud of what we accomplished throughout the facility, but the various labs, the cafeteria and the library really stand out. Furnishing these areas displayed what School Specialty and PbD are capable of, and we have received incredibly positive feedback from the community on our contributions."
Stroudsburg administrators set out to offer their students comprehensive and state-of-the-art technical facilities because of the demographics of the community, which has a strong vocational focus. The technical wing of Stroudsburg High School now includes labs for computer-aided design (CAD), business, engineering, materials, technology and robotics.
One Source. Every Learning Space.
Bringing to the table its experience outfitting every conceivable learning environment, along with its unparalleled access to products from a wide range of vendors, the PbD team outfitted these technical areas with the state-of-the-art equipment necessary for student success. PbD provided specialized computer desks in the CAD labs; high-tech, individual student work stations in the engineering labs; clamps, work benches, saws and sanders in the materials labs; and welders and drafting tables in the robotics lab. These are just a small sample of the comprehensive technical equipment offered to students in the new school.
Sodl continued, "Given the demographics of our community, one of our chief goals at the outset of this project was to improve the vocational and science areas of the school. The old technical labs were very outdated, essentially consisting of tables and a few tools. With Projects by Design at our side, we were able to drastically enhance these areas, and now Stroudsburg High has some of the best vocational areas that I have ever seen in a high school. Without PbD's access to a huge inventory of modern tools and furniture, the technical wing would simply not be the success that it is today."
Another focus area during the renovations to Stroudsburg High was the library. It was remodeled with the assistance of a team of architects, and School Specialty provided the furniture and equipment to complete the new space. Stemming from meetings between the PbD team, the school librarian and other administrators, it was decided that the library should be a central hub of student engagement. All parties determined that the revamped space should be not just a library, but also a place for students to meet, collaborate, study and relax.
To accomplish this goal, PbD outfitted the new library with a variety of different furniture so that students could utilize the space according to their individual needs. As part of the school's new focus on technology, PbD provided tables with outlets, mounts for laptops and other integration for students' mobile devices. Administrators wanted the library to be a place for students to gather, so PbD furnished the space with comfortable chairs, roomy tables and soft seating for a relaxing area designed with a café layout.
When the Stroudsburg High overhaul began, the District decided to include the school colors and other branding throughout. This was especially important in the library because it is one of the most-used areas of the school. PbD provided furniture customized with the Stroudsburg school colors - maroon, grey and white - everywhere in the library.
Casperite commented, "The new Stroudsburg library is an incredible space and so far has been a resounding success. The District wanted the library to become a place where students would want to spend time, and that has absolutely been the case since its completion. PbD specializes in collaborative learning areas in line with 21st Century Learning initiatives, and we provided a variety of furniture designed specifically for group projects. We were able to customize most of the furniture with Stroudsburg's school colors to enhance the sense of community for students and educators. The new library is exactly what administrators envisioned - a place in which students feel comfortable to engage with each other and share ideas."
Like the library, the cafeteria was redesigned to instill a sense of togetherness for the Stroudsburg High community. In fact, the new cafeteria is truly the flagship area of the school. Administrators desired something special in the cafeteria that would bring students together, and PbD was able to contribute to this goal through creative thinking and its partnership with ISI, a vendor specializing in cafeteria design.
The District, School Specialty team and ISI put their heads together and decided to fill the cafeteria with customized artwork showcasing Stroudsburg High and the surrounding community. As in the library, this included school colors and the Mountaineer logo throughout. The creative team went even further in the cafeteria by including murals and photographs displaying the history of the town of Stroudsburg. PbD and ISI sourced old pictures of the community from the Stroudsburg Historical Society. Once the District selected the photos that best represented the area and its inhabitants, ISI blew them up in high resolution and created a time line of historical events on the cafeteria walls.
Sodl continued, "I was very adamant that the cafeteria should be a place where students ofall backgrounds could feel a sense of belonging, and this was accomplished through theamazing artwork that School Specialty and ISI put together. Following the 9/11 attacks, wehad an influx of families from the New York area that needed to get away from the city.These families had little to no sense of the history and values of our community, but nowthey can understand their place here through these beautiful murals. The cafeteria is trulythe highlight of the new Stroudsburg High, and has become a gathering place for all kinds ofcommunity events."
In addition to the artistic enhancements, PbD outfitted the cafeteria with a variety of different seating areas and furniture options. With booth seating and high tables in addition to standard cafeteria seating, the space has the feel of a casual food court or café. This contributes to the social and relaxed atmosphere, in which students and the community at large can gather, interact and engage.
Environments that Impact Students
Kline noted, "The entire Stroudsburg High School project was rewarding, and the cafeteria especially is an area that I will always remember developing. The space has become so beloved by the community, and I am incredibly proud to have been a part of that. Projects like this make all of our work worth it, and showcase that School Specialty and PbD do not just offer educational equipment – we create experiential environments that students will remember fondly long after graduation."
Sodl concluded, "Many students have told me that they feel like they are in a movie when they enter Stroudsburg High School. Comments like that are why I decided to be an educator, and why I always trust School Specialty as our partner. The environment that we created together is a point of pride throughout the entire community, and students are excited to come to school each day. That is truly remarkable and exactly what we set out to accomplish, and we have the PbD team to thank for this incredible success story."
School Specialty and Projects by Design provide much more than educational products - they offer comprehensive services that enhance the learning experience for students nationwide. In addition to top-of-industry furniture and equipment solutions, PbD instills a sense of community learning in all of its projects. The long-standing relationship with the Stroudsburg Area School District is one of many that School Specialty has cultivated throughout the years, and administrators know that they can count on the PbD team for whatever they need to create a positive learning experience for their students.
|Library Circulation Desk||Soft Seating in Library||Space Saver|
|Conference Tables in Library||Tech Ed Lab||Science Lab|
To learn more about our Projects by Design® cost-saving, turnkey solution, visit www.ProjectsByDesign.com.