Reading “Castle” Intermediate High School

Reading Intermediate High School
Reading School District

215 North 12th Street
Reading, Pennsylvania 19604




Building Area

New Construction:122,187 SF
Renovated:189,176 SF
Total:311,363 SF

McKissick Associates was asked to review the reuse of this functioning hospital following the Catholic Church’s decision to construct a replacement building. McKissick developed a plan that entailed a phased public private partnership for the conversion of this building. The urban 8.3-acre St. Joseph’s site was completely transformed through the demolition of 250,000 SF (primarily built between 1950 and 1970), and the renovation of existing buildings.
Dating from the 1872 and 1892, original walls (including a four-story high stone chapel, a bell tower and 30” thick stone walls) were incorporated as exterior elements in the new additions. Existing hospital areas were converted to classroom use, whereas more than 122,187 SF of new construction accommodate large group instruction areas, cafeteria, food service kitchens, locker rooms, gymnasium, band/choral rooms, black box theatre and internet café. Waste material from demolition used to create a hillside playfield.
The building was programmed to create a small supportive learning environment. Construction of an additional story above an existing building created four standalone grade 9-10 schools arranged around the District’s newly developed magnet programs; Arts & Humanities, International Business, Technology, and Agriculture Ecology & Science. Each of these 600 student schools-within-a-school are arranged to be self-contained. Taking advantage of the natural slope (over 160-foot drop over a three-block distance) no student is required to move more than two stories to reach core educational facilities.

Reading “Castle” Intermediate High School