Conshohocken, PA - This year, AIM Academy’s 142 high school students were welcomed back to school into an entirely new space for learning, the Upper School Collaborative, a 10,000 square-foot dynamic space constructed this summer on the third floor of the Conshohocken school’s historic main building.
Elected officials, AIM trustees and representatives from architects Blackney Hayes Architects and contractor Wohlsen Construction, joined students, faculty, staff and guests at a ribbon cutting for the new space on September 4th. Construction of this transformed space began in June and was funded in part by a $500,000 state RACP grant.
During the ceremony, Nedia Ralston, Gov. Tom Wolf’s Philadelphia Representative, state Rep. Mary Jo Daley, and state Sen. Vincent Hughes’ chief of staff Marcella Daniels both shared their excitement at seeing the changes at AIM and of the strides AIM is making to improving outcomes for all children.
“The things that AIM Academy is doing here are really ground breaking,” said Ralston, who brought along a formal greeting from Gov. Wolf. “The things that you’re doing with children, especially the ones with language-based learning differences has really given a holistic approach to education for not only the children here but as an example of things that should be going on in other schools across the Commonwealth.”
The 10,000-square-foot space on the third floor of AIM’s historic main building on the Schuylkill River has been transformed into 10 light-filled classrooms, dynamic gathering spaces and spaces for small group collaboration for AIM’s 9th-12th grade students. Modern features such as folding glass walls and smart walls and boards are installed amid the broad beams of solid American chestnut, a hallmark of the historic mill building.
State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, who hosts AIM students each year for a statehouse visit as page for a day and comes to school to talk about civics shared that she was “thrilled that AIM is in my district and am excited to meet some of the students who are here with us today."
“When I listen to [AIM founders and directors] Nancy Blair and Pat Roberts talk about their partnerships in different communities I get really excited because it’s important that we are able to extend education beyond the walls of the school,” she said.
“It is incredibly important what this space is going to mean for our students,” said AIM Head of School Chris Herman. “We know that the future of education is open. It is collaborative. It is innovative. It is not closed walls, it is not closed doors. The Upper School Collaborative gets to do that for us. And I know that once again we are putting AIM's 352 students far ahead of the curve, and that’s pretty exciting. We always say we don’t have any time to waste with our students so even though this is the future of education, we are really excited to bring the future to them so they don’t have to wait for the future to arrive.”
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