Principal Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA Appointed Regional Representative to AIA College of Fellows

November 2018 – Perspectus Architecture Principal Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA has been appointed as one of two Ohio Valley Regional Representatives to the AIA College of Fellows for 2019.

As Regional Representative, Murphy will serve as a liaison between the AIA Fellows within the Ohio Valley region and the AIA College of Fellows. This esteemed role encompasses four objectives: Generate awareness; Encourage participation among existing Fellows; Inspire professional growth among recently licensed Architects through fellowship within the Institute; and Influence AIA components (disseminate messaging and information about the College.

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

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Perspectus Architecture Welcomes Gwendolyn Frank to the Team!

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Perspectus Architecture is proud to welcome our newest team member, Gwendolyn Frank! She recently graduated from Kent State University with a Master of Architecture. She joins us as an intern architect and hopes to one day be a proud pet-parent for the world’s largest (perhaps cutest?) rodent, the capybara.

We thought we would introduce her with a short Q&A to help everyone get to know her.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in Westerville, Ohio, but have lived around different parts of Ohio.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?

Exploring a new place or having a new experience is something I value greatly.

Who or what inspires you most?

Family has always been a large source of my inspiration.

What are you most excited about as you begin your career?

I am most excited to continue learning, and specifically learning in a professional setting. School and the profession offer quite different learning opportunities.

If I weren’t an architect I would be….

I never had a backup option, but I suppose it would have something to do with art and history.

What’s the coolest place you’ve ever been? Where do you want to travel to most and why?

I was fortunate to travel to Italy during school, and my most memorable moment was sitting overlooking the city from the Florence Opera. I could see my next big adventure being Barcelona to see Sagrada Familia.

Favorite TV show/movie?

Movies, I enjoy old Hollywood films and for TV I am happy when a new season of Project Runway starts.

Is there something not many people know about you?

I have an affinity for unique animals and really would love to have a capybara someday.

Capybara

via Giphy

The age-old Cleveland question: East Side or West Side?

I live on the East Side but more often on the West Side in my spare time.

Cavs or Indians?

Indians for sure!

Dogs or Cats?

Dogs. I grew up fostering puppies for the humane society and hope to have a chance to sometime in the future.

Welcome to the team, Gwendolyn! We’re so glad to have you here!

Student-Centered: What Makes for a Successful Modern Day Student Union

Perspectus Architecture has been working with Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio since 2012. Belmont College is a two-year public community college offering residents in the Ohio Valley a variety of academic and technical training degrees.

Our most recent project with the college created a place where their students could gather and study together and established a new identity for the college. Such spaces on college campuses are often referred to as student unions or student centers. What do these campus hubs need to create a student-centered experience in the 21st century?

Today, college student unions play a pivotal role in student recruitment and retention. Often where campus tours begin and end, these buildings establish an institution’s brand and communicate the institution’s values and culture to prospective students.

Student unions must fill a variety of needs to help prepare students for the professional environment and reflect the many ways students learn and collaborate. Amenities available within these buildings, such as community spaces, various dining options, and digital resources, have evolved and student expectations of these amenities have continued to escalate.

Well-designed student spaces combine open collaboration spaces, where socialization and group work can occur, with smaller, quiet spaces and intimate study nooks.

It is important that student unions connect the student body to the rest of campus, acting as a one-stop for academic and institution services, student activities, entertainment and learning.

As the professional world increasingly functions at the crossroads of technology and human interaction, students today need a place where they can connect socially and have access to resources for academic and career success. For the incoming generations of students, an institution’s student union symbolizes how it will prepare them for career survival.

 

Belmont College’s student center is located within their Main Building, with original construction starting in 1971. The last major change the building underwent was in 1996 with the addition of a new wing. Since then, the Main Building has seen very little change, slow to adapt to meet changing needs. As a commuter school, Belmont College wanted to provide better opportunities for students to stay on campus after and between classes. The college also sought to establish a new identity to help attract and retain the best students in the region. In doing so, the college decided to bring their approximately 100,000-square-foot Main Building into the 21st century with a clear focus on the student. To accomplish this task, Perspectus Architecture led Belmont College though a re-design that supports the college’s current and future needs.

This transformation of the Main Building encompassed extensive interior, exterior, and infrastructure renovations. Students who enter the building now experience a new campus shop, library, classroom finishes, plus a complete reconfiguration of staff office space into the aptly-named “One Stop.” The creation of student collaboration spaces such as a new lounge, reading room, and gaming area entice students to hang out longer on campus. The gaming area is one of the more unique added amenities; here, students can plug in their own gaming systems to screens, allowing them to work together recreationally.

New wayfinding and the incorporation of bright colors and environmental graphics energize the building, reinforcing the College’s brand and commitment to the success of its student body.


Check out more of our Education work here.

Read news articles about the Belmont College Main Building renovation:

WTOV NBC 9 – Belmont College completes more than $8 million in upgrades

Belmont College News – Main Building renovation nears completion at Belmont College

Additional Resources:
Student Unions As Campus Destinations
Reactivating the Student Center on the Modern Campus

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Perspectus Principals Peter Bohan, AIA, Mike Lipowski, AIA and Sal Rini, AIA Receive ACHA Board Certificate

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Perspectus Architecture Principals Peter Bohan, AIA; Mike Lipowski, AIA; and Sal Rini, AIA are now board certified by the American College of Healthcare Architects

We are proud to share that the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) has announced that Perspectus Architecture Principals Peter Bohan, AIA, LEED® AP; Mike Lipowski, AIA, LEED® AP, NCARB, CDT; and Sal Rini, AIA have earned their Board Certificate in healthcare architecture. Bohan, Lipowski and Rini recently passed an accredited examination, which assesses the knowledge and understanding of architects who practice as healthcare specialists. They join the ranks of over 400 ACHA colleagues in the US and Canada who have received this important architectural credential.

ACHA requires its certificate holders to work towards the improvement of healthcare architecture on behalf of the public, to practice in an ethical manner and to maintain the highest standards in the specialized field of healthcare architecture.

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University Hospitals North Ridgeville Health Center: A Study in Architectural Branding

University Hospitals North Ridgeville Health Center Front Exterior

Perspectus Architecture has a long-standing history serving University Hospitals on a variety of projects for the health system’s inpatient and outpatient facilities. Recently, University Hospitals selected the Perspectus Architecture team to serve as Architect of Record and design a new Health Center located on Lorain Road in North Ridgeville, Ohio. The 50,300 square-foot LEED Certified facility opened in June of 2018.

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Project Rendering: University Hospitals North Ridgeville Health Center NE Corner
Rendering prepared by CBLH Design
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Actual: University Hospitals North Ridgeville Health Center NE Corner – Completed

A major part of the new health center’s design process involved assisting University Hospitals in defining and maintaining consistency with its brand for community hospitals and health centers. The design team focused on developing a design that is distinctly of University Hospitals.

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University Hospitals North Ridgeville Health Center Main Lobby
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University Hospitals North Ridgeville Health Center 2nd Floor Waiting Room

Documenting existing design consistencies

Our architectural team field-documented existing facilities in four locations (Chagrin-Highlands Health Center, Concord Health Center, Twinsburg Health Center and Broadview Heights Health Center), creating a comprehensive case study of consistencies that reinforce an underlying architectural brand to use for the North Ridgeville facility and as a resource for future University Hospitals projects.

Upon completion of the field work, the design team consisting of Perspectus Architecture and CBLH Design collaborated during a benchmarking charrette at the Perspectus office to evaluate four major areas of the respective buildings: the site, the building, major interior spaces, and materials.

These design elements were then sorted into four categories: Go, Keep, Change and Add. This exercise helped identify the key elements that make up the University Hospitals brand and inform the visual language of the North Ridgeville facility. Successful design elements critical to the University Hospitals brand include signage, brick color, glass color, metal panels, curvature and geometric features.

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University Hospitals North Ridgeville Architectural Branding & Concept Development Case Study Book prepared for University Hospitals

Visibility and signage

The Health Center is strategically located off Lorain Road, Interstate 480, and Interstate 80. Because of these direct views, visibility of the building’s signage from major roadways was evaluated as a critical design element.

Functioning like the facility’s own billboard, large planes on the roof of the building were intentionally designed as the backdrop for University Hospitals signage placed on three sides of the building. This creates clear wayfinding to the Emergency Department for patients and visitors arriving from the north.

The health center is purposely placed on the 33-acre property to avoid disturbing the surrounding wetlands. The building’s location allows for scenic nature views of the adjacent pond for staff and patients, while also providing the opportunity for future expansion.

Location and wayfinding

A heliport and a covered ambulance drop-off area accommodate patients requiring critical care. To locate the heliport, Perspectus worked with the helicopter pilot at an early design stage with an actual onsite visit and reviewed approach options making sure that helicopters could take off and land safely.

Adjacent to the Emergency Department is the two-story main lobby that is flooded with natural daylight and serves as the transportation hub for visitors moving throughout the building.

The new health center includes an Emergency Department, Radiology Department, Laboratory, Retail Pharmacy, Digestive Health Department and Medical Offices including Primary Care, Specialty Care, OB/GYN and Pediatrics. Tactical placement of each department not only supports efficient work flow, but also provides patients and visitors a clear understanding of where they are in the building and how to move from one department to the next.

Achieving a unified design

Upon completion, Senior Construction Mgmt. Manager at University Hospitals, Debra DeCapite said, “We had a lot of challenges that were resolved which resulted in a truly beautiful design of this health center.”

Collaboration – both with the design team and the Client – was a key factor in achieving North Ridgeville Health Center’s unique image. The building’s design promotes University Hospitals brand consistency and establishes a source of community pride.

Perspectus Architecture Summer 2018 Interns

Our Summer Interns Share Their Experience at Perspectus Architecture

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Perspectus Architecture’s 2018 summer interns, Sam and Katie.

To many, the end of August marks the bittersweet goodbye to summer and the perennial return of Pumpkin Spice everything. It also marks the conclusion of Sam and Katie’s summer internship at Perspectus Architecture. Sam and Katie impressed us all with their hard work and determination. We’ll miss seeing them both every day in the office, but Katie will still be joining us every Friday!

But before they returned to their respective halls of ivy – Sam at Carnegie Mellon and Katie at Kent State – they took some time to share some thoughts on the experiences they had as interns at Perspectus Architecture.

Here’s what they had to say:

Sam – Architectural Intern
Sophomore, Carnegie Mellon University

This internship was my first “work-world” experience. So naturally, I really didn’t know what to expect on my first day. After coming in, introducing myself, and finding out what I would do, I began learning how to use Revit. After gaining a basic understanding, I was able to contribute to projects (such as Paramount Senior Living and Laurel Lake Senior Living). The work was rigorous yet satisfying.

I really appreciated the times I was able to gain first-hand experience of on-site interactions. It allowed me to gain an understanding into the client-contractor-architect relationship.

Over the few months that I interned at Perspectus Architecture, I became more comfortable with myself in the office environment and definitely became better at time management. I got myself on a sleep schedule and actually planned out my weeks in advance so that I would be able to accomplish at-work tasks while having enough time to be a college kid afterwards.

This summer was also my first experience with a daily work commute, so I feel like I’ve gained some important and possibly life-saving insights into the minds of rush hour drivers.

Though I did enjoy my time at Perspectus, I’m immensely excited to return to school and looking forward to applying what I’ve learned to broaden my knowledge of the architectural practice and enhance my education.

I’d like to thank everyone who supplied me with the opportunities to work on projects, were patient enough to mentor me, and encouraged me to struggle through unfamiliar work to involve myself this summer.


Katie – Interior Design Intern
Senior, Kent State University

During my summer internship experience at Perspectus, I was fortunate enough to experience and learn many new things. Throughout the summer I have had the opportunity to work on many projects. I was able to work and assist different architects at the firm on a variety of projects that were all at different stages.

One of the best parts about this experience was that there was never a dull moment or even a ‘typical’ day. There were always new projects or tasks to be tackled. My favorite days were when we had AIA and IDCEC Lunch & Learns. It was always interesting to learn about new products and innovations happening within the industry; and the lunch was always a delicious bonus!

This opportunity has allowed me to meet new people and develop professional skills that will help as I continue my education and professional career.

This summer has given me an insight into the professional world and a sneak-peek into what my career could potentially be like, which is very exciting.

Everyone in the office was extremely welcoming and kind and I am truly grateful for all the people at the firm; especially my mentor – Christina Litchney.

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Perspectus Architecture Evolves Firm Leadership

Since 2001, Perspectus Architecture co-founder Larry Fischer, AIA, ACHA, NCARB has served as Managing Design Principal alongside longtime friend and colleague, Bill Ayars, AIA, ACHA, MBA. On September 12, 2018, Larry will be transitioning into a new role as Chairman of the firm’s Board of Advisors.

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Perspectus Architecture co-founder Larry Fischer

Larry’s distinguished career as a prominent specialist in healthcare design spans more than 43 years. He is a registered architect in 21 states and one of just 40 architects in Ohio to achieve Board Certification from the American College of Healthcare Architects. Over the course of his tenure, Larry has led major projects from master planning to implementation for more than five million square feet of healthcare facilities.

Larry builds relationships through exceptional service, dedication, and honesty. This approach, combined with his depth of expertise, has led the firm in establishing many high-profile clients. Under Larry’s leadership, the firm has grown to include more than 50 staff members practicing within eight markets covering Healthcare, Education, Senior Living, Historic, Civic & Government, Hospitality, Laboratory and Commercial architecture.

Larry and Bill’s vision for Perspectus Architecture was to leave a design legacy that would outlast them through a culture of transparency and mutual trust. Over the last 17 years, the firm has been recognized as a national leader in transformational healthcare architecture.

“Since the beginning, Larry has been key in developing our culture, branding, and the markets we do work in. He has helped create a culture of growth where the firm leadership is continually training and developing their successors,” says Perspectus Architecture Managing Principal and co-founder Bill Ayars. Bill goes on to say that Larry has a keen ability to “cut through the noise” to find solutions.

Team building is something that has always been important to Larry, as he believes that every team member plays a role in developing client relationships. By removing hierarchy of communication, Larry has instilled a culture of openness and collaboration both with clients and within the firm itself.  

“Besides our staff being exceptional at what they do, much of the success of the firm comes from forming relationships with clients that go beyond professional and develop into true friendships,” says Larry. 

Passing the Torch

On September 12, Principals Salvatore Rini (“Sal”), AIA and Michael Lipowski (“Mike”), AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, CDT are assuming new roles as Managing Principals with Bill. Sal and Mike have been key parts of the firm’s leadership team since the early years.

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Perspectus Architecture Managing Principals pictured left to right: Mike Lipowski, Sal Rini and Bill Ayars

“They’re active examples of the firm’s culture of honesty, openness and transparency. They’re really good at what they do and will help us get to the next growth phase as a firm,” says Bill of Sal and Mike.

Sal Rini joined Perspectus in 2007 and is a seasoned and creative architect with more than 28 years of experience under his belt. Sal is driven and extremely passionate about architecture and design. His project portfolio encompasses the planning, programming and design of healthcare, education, and government facilities. He loves designing complex structures and knowing that he is positively impacting the people who use the spaces. Sal currently serves as lead architect for Summa Health System’s new West Tower that is scheduled for completion in 2019. He also plays an active role mentoring young architects in the office, supporting their efforts and challenging them to continually improve.

Mike Lipowski has more than 23 years of experience providing exceptional technical design development, construction document and administrative leadership for healthcare, educational and corporate clients. Mike’s background is highly specialized in technical equipment installations and project implementation. Since joining Perspectus in 2003, he has been instrumental in building an exceptional list of clients that include many world-class healthcare institutions.

“Sal and I are very excited to build upon the strong foundation that Larry and Bill have established and intend to expand our existing services within our multiple market sectors,” says Mike, “It is truly amazing what Perspectus has accomplished in less than 2 decades and we look forward to help shape the future of this firm.”

The Road Ahead

The leadership transitions here at Perspectus signal exciting times ahead for us. They come at a pivotal point for the firm as it continues to grow and evolve towards its mission of exceptional design and service.

Veterinary Medical Center at The Ohio State University Wins Brick In Architecture Award

July 2018 – We are proud to announce that the Veterinary Medical Center at The Ohio State University won the 2018 Brick In Architecture bronze award in the category for Higher Education.

Perspectus Architecture served as Architect of Record on the project, with Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects as Design Architect.

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Each year, the Brick Industry Association (BIA) “honor outstanding, innovative and sustainable architecture that incorporate clay brick products as the predominant exterior building or paving material.”

Judged by a jury of independent design professionals, 19 projects were selected and “awarded five Best in Class, five Gold, five Silver and four Bronze awards from 88 total entries,” according to a press release issued by BIA.

The full list with details of winning projects is available on ArchDaily, the world’s most visited architecture website.

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Image Credit: Brick Industry Association
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Perspectus Architecture Welcomes Brian Broadus to the Team

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July 2018 – Perspectus Architecture is proud to welcome Brian Broadus, AIA, LEED AP BD+C to our team.

Broadus brings over 30 years of experience in historic architecture and a reputation of strong project management and design skills. His skills and experience add great value to our firm as we continue to grow our historic and education studios. In his new role at Perspectus, Broadus will design and manage restoration and adaptive reuse projects of all building types including higher education projects.

Throughout his career, Broadus has worked on multiple award-winning projects including the relocation and restoration of the 1858 Student Infirmary at the University of Virginia, the restoration of the 1844 Lexington Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Virginia, and the Walter L. Rice Education Building at Virginia Commonwealth University. Broadus formerly served as a member of the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and looks forward to joining similar organizations in Cleveland and Ohio.

Broadus received his bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and his Master of Architecture and Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia. Most recently, Broadus was a Senior Project Manager with ThenDesign Architecture.

When asked what inspires him, Broadus says, “Considering architecture’s role in the city and as a political act. I enjoy seeing the virtuoso work of earlier architects and builders, understanding construction and maintenance in its full cultural context. I embrace architectural preservation as part of keeping up community life and identity, so work that succeeds in accomplishing that task excites me to try and equal it.”

Welcome to Perspectus, Brian! We’re proud to have you on our team!

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Adaptive Reuse: How Preserving Buildings of the Past Helps Preserve the Future

Historic preservation is itself, a practice of sustainability that benefits communities and our environment. The demolition of a building uses a lot of energy and releases large amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Additional energy is expelled during construction of a replacement facility.

On the flipside, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2016 report “The Greenest Building,” saving a historic building for adaptive reuse “almost always yields far fewer environmental impacts than new construction when comparing buildings of similar size and functionality.”

We can see sustainable adaptive reuse in action in the renovation of the historic Circleville High School in Circleville, Ohio. Built in 1916, the high school eventually become the Everts Hill Middle School. When Everts Hill Middle School relocated to a new facility in 2016, the century-old school sat empty and was almost torn down.

Photography by Todd Williams
The front exterior of the historic Circleville High School.
Photography by Todd Williams 
The historic high school was rehabilitated into Everts Hill affordable senior living apartments. The new complex is fully ADA accessible.
Photography by Todd Williams 
Detail above the front entrance.
Photography by Todd Williams  
The historic Circleville High School was built in 1916 and would continue to serve students for the next 100 years.
Photography by Todd Williams
The historic auditorium retains the original proscenium arch and now serves as the gathering area for families and parties.
Photography by Todd Williams
The exterior of the restored historic greenhouse original to the property.
Photography by Todd Williams
The interior of the restored historic greenhouse, original to the property.
Photography by Todd Williams
A view down one of the corridors. The original built-in lockers now function as tenant storage. The terrazzo flooring is also original to the corridors.
Photography by Todd Williams
Historic built-ins that were coat/backpack racks and teacher supply storage are now used for tenant storage.
Photography by Todd Williams
View inside a unit living space. Each unit is designed with open living spaces facing the historic windows, which provides ample natural light. The original slate boards were retained in each unit adding to the historic charm of the unit.
Photography by Todd Williams
View inside a unit living space. Each unit is designed with open living spaces facing the historic windows, which provides ample natural light. Plumbing for the kitchens and bathrooms are configured along the corridor wall.
Photography by Todd Williams
View inside a unit living space. Each unit is designed with open living spaces facing the historic windows, which provides ample natural light. Plumbing for the kitchens and bathrooms are configured along the corridor wall.
Photography by Todd Williams
Plumbing for the kitchens and bathrooms are configured along the corridor wall.
Photography by Todd Williams
View inside a unit bedroom.

The City of Circleville had a demolition contract for the property in place when our historic architecture team put them in contact with the developer, Woda Cooper Companies. Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio and Woda Cooper Companies worked together with the city to save the historic high school and rehabilitate it into an affordable senior living community by creative use of the land and existing facilities. The property is now known as Everts Hill Apartments.

“We’re able to place tenants into a building that was about to be torn down, that’s pretty amazing,” says Principal Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA, Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio. “That’s a victory for the city as well as for the developers.” Murphy also stresses that by saving the building from demolition, we have a measurably reduced carbon footprint.

Meeting Green Standards

The project was primarily funded by the developer’s private funding and through federal and state historic preservation tax credits. One of the chief funding sources comes from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which will reward restoration housing projects that meet the sustainability standards outlined by the Enterprise Green Community program. The Enterprise Green Community program aligns “affordable housing project investment strategies with environmentally responsive building practices.” To qualify, the sustainable restoration must meet a certain number of points in a required and optional set of standards for certification.

Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio and Woda Cooper Companies worked closely to ensure the design of the new Everts Hill senior living community met all Enterprise Green Community certification requirements, even going above and beyond in certain areas, as a sustainable building. Some of the measures taken to meet green living standards include recycling above the required amount of post-industrial waste, using materials that are manufactured and transported from within 500 miles to reduce CO2 emissions associated with transportation, using low VOC materials, as well as efficient heating and cooling systems.

Everts Hill must additionally meet requirements that holistically benefit the health of the tenant through implementing universal design in which the design decision was made to make the building accessible and visitable, a completely non-smoking environment, connected to the community, and available to open space. Residents have access to half the original football field for outdoor leisure and the restoration preserved the historic configuration of the site.

Ultimately, earning Enterprise Green Community certification means the building will cost less to operate and maintain, use fewer resources and contain fewer toxic materials.

Cultural Sustainability

Historic restoration projects also achieve sustainability from a cultural perspective. The buildings are given a new use while the design must respect its past and its emotional ties with community members. The new Everts Hill complex is tied to the community, especially among the older community because they remember going to school there.

Many of the building’s unique features were restored and creatively incorporated to serve the building’s new function while also created to be distinctly reminiscent of the building’s original purpose.  Murphy explains that for a restoration architect, “the biggest challenge in these types of projects is that you want to save everything, and you want to restore everything. But you must remember that people are the clients, not the buildings. And that to make affordable housing, we have to be careful not to go overboard.”

The goal of the design was to maintain the charm of the historic high school, says Dalton Kline, Interior Designer, Perspectus Historic Architecture, Chambers, Murphy & Burge Studio. “We have design stylistically compatible apartments in this historic building.”

Old classrooms are now apartment units, complete with the original slate boards. New unit entry doors were reconstructed to resemble the classroom’s original doors. Plumbing and other apartment amenities were configured along the corridor wall with the living space along the windows, which were restored to their original size allowing for more natural light in the units.

The building features the original corridors and flooring. The historic auditorium retains the original proscenium arch and is now home to the complex’s gathering area for families and parties. At the rear of the historic high school, the original greenhouse that was converted to a fieldhouse has been reborn as a greenhouse for tenants. Also remaining are the corridors built-in lockers that currently serve as tenant storage.

Previously hidden by drop ceilings, contractors discovered the original skylights, that once again provide another source of natural light.

The existing cafeteria is reimagined as a café open to the public. Creating this space increases the quality of life and provides a community connection between the senior residents and the public.

When asked how the Everts Hill was received by the Circleville community, Murphy explained that during the construction phase of these historic adaptive reuse projects, people tend to be unsure since they’ve grown used to the building as part of the city’s landscape. “But once it opens and has a little life pumped back into it, everyone is thrilled.”

Historic preservation provides sustainability for our environment and our communities. Projects like Everts Hill Apartments at the historic Circleville High School demonstrate that preserving the past can go a long way towards preserving the future.