Rendering of front entrance for the new campus of The Circle School The Circle School/By Design Consultants

Rendering of front entrance for the new campus of The Circle School.

Private school in Pennsylvania breaks ground on new campus

The Circle School is building a 9,000-square-foot facility in Susquehanna Township that will have no classrooms.

The Circle School, a private school in Harrisburg, Pa., that has outgrown its existing space, has broken ground on a new campus in Susquehanna Township, about a mile from its existing site.

The Central Penn Business Journal reports that the school is constructing a 9,000-square-foot facility to hold about 100 students. The $2.7 million Meadow Campus is situated on nearly eight acres of land that was donated by the George M. Leader Family Corp.

Founded in 1984, The Circle School has about 70 students aged 4 to 19. The school was created so that student can "practice freedom and responsibility in a scaled-down version of the larger world."

The school 's democratic program calls for architectural features in the new building that are unusual for schools, such as an absence of classrooms. Instead, the educational space will include a “courtroom” that accommodates hearings within the school’s judicial system, a large “public commons” that facilitates sessions of the school’s democratic governing body, and other student interactions.

Circle school officials say the new campus will incorporate sustainable features such as high-efficiency heat-pump technology, LED lighting, solar tubes, recycled materials, fly ash concrete, clerestory windows and minimal site disturbance.

Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2017 and the building should be ready for fall classes.

The architect is By Design Consultants, and Pyramid Construction Services is the general contractor.

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