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  St. Anne’s Episcopal School, Page 48St. Anne’s Episcopal School
Anderson Brown Higley Associates
1621 North Lincoln Street, Wilmington, DE 19806

Middletown, Delaware
Total Square Feet: 56,000
Construction Period: June 2001 to Aug 2002

Construction Team
Structural Engineer: LZA Technology - 105 S. 12th Street, 
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Paul H. Yeomans, Inc. - 718 Arch Street, #200S, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Cost Estimator: EDiS Company - 110 S. Poplar Street, #400, 
Wilmington, DE 19801

Instructing pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students, St. Anne’s Episcopal School embodies the educational goals of its founders. Its teachers prepare students for secondary education and develop their potential for good members of local and world communities.

The school stands on a knoll overlooking Silver Lake near the small farming community of Middletown, Delaware. It is placed so that existing trees screen it from the main thoroughfare, half a mile away, which preserves this setting for the school and for the community. Crops still grow on the site, a former soybean field, and can be seen from the school, reinforcing lessons in ecology and stewardship of the environment. The school’s academic wings gather views of the countryside and combine with the central structure to form a courtyard for outdoor classes and special events.

Reflecting on the rural setting, the school’s dominant central structure is based on the style and proportions of a traditional Delaware Victorian manor house. It houses administrative offices as well as the library, dining room, and classrooms for art and music. A central two-story lobby connects all of these spaces and is partially illuminated by borrowed light from each.

Connected to this central structure are the gymnasium and academic wings with building forms reminiscent of a barn and a series of outbuildings. Serving as a multifunctional assembly space for sporting events, meetings and performances, the gymnasium houses basketball courts, a stage and bleacher seating for the student body.

The two academic wings reach out toward the lake view. One houses the lower school, grades pre-kindergarten through fourth; the other houses the middle school, grades fifth through eighth. The wings are divided into pods, each of which supports two grades. Central common spaces within these groupings provide opportunities for students to work together in cooperation learning teams. Each wing has its own entrance lobby to relive congestion at times of arrival and departure.

The desire for an abundance of natural light and fresh air is accommodated through large operable windows in classrooms and at key locations throughout the common areas. Views through these openings maintain a connection between the student’s studies and the outdoor environment. Academic common spaces borrow light from classrooms via clerestory windows, and throughout the building, indirect lighting supplements natural light.

Most windows are semi-custom wood insulated units with true divided lights. Glazed entrances are a custom color aluminum storefront system. Structural steel costs were minimized by the use of steel stud bearing walls and cold-formed metal roof trusses on the single story portions of the building. Exterior walls are of brick and cement fiber siding. 

Helping to reinforce connections to the surrounding environment, natural materials used inside are oak, cork, linoleum, rubber and ceramic tile. High-grade residential oak cabinets, substantially less expensive than custom units, were installed in all of the classrooms and science rooms.

St. Anne’s Episcopal School building supplements the work of its teachers. Through natural materials and natural daylight, plus numerous framed views of its surroundings, it helps students see the connections among what they learn, how they live, and the world outside. 

DIV 06: Cement Plank Siding: HardiPlank®. 
DIV 07: Shingles: Elk. 
DIV 08: Entrance Doors: Adams Rite; Windows: Pella.
DIV 09: Carpet: Mannington; VCT: Armstrong; Cork: Expanko; Drywall: Georgia Pacific. 

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