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McKee Elementary School Celebrates Dedication of Newly Renovated School

October 26, 2016

Recently Project Manager Rob Rensi and Project Architect Tim Reidy attended the dedication ceremony for McKee Elementary School in the West Allegheny School District.

The event was attended by past and present school officials, including the District’s Board Members, past and present administration, several teachers and staff members, parents and students.

Dr. Lippert (the current Superintendent), Dr. DiSanti (former Superintendent), Debbie Mirich (Board President), Ken Fibbi (Facilities Director), Tom Orr (Principal), and Rob Rensi all spoke at the event.

During the ceremony, the speakers expressed gratitude for all of those involved with the project, including recognizing the Hayes Design Group (HDG) for their role in incorporating more natural light in the design of the school.  Principal, Tom Orr mentioned during his remarks that the school has achieved the highest rate of improvement in the children’s test schools in any school in the region over the past year and how his initial doubts about daylighting were erased by the results, stating that “HDG knocked the design out of the park.”

Facilities Director, Ken Fibbi mentioned that the school district had received an honorable mention for energy efficiency by the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance ( and that the renovations at McKee and Wilson had a lot to do with those awards. Recently, McKee’s sister school, Wilson Elementary School and HDG were featured in a leading energy trade journal and an Eneref Web Forum for the outstanding natural daylighting at Wilson.

“One of the 5th graders who led the tour shared with me that architecture was one of the top five occupations she’s considering,” stated Rob Rensi, Project Architect.  “The tour by the students made my day – they were so proud and excited to share their school with us.”

The scope of the project at McKee included a complete renovation of the 86,000 SF., existing elementary center, including a complete interior renovation and reconfiguration of the existing open floor classroom. The interior was renovated to provide better classroom spaces that fit the current academic needs of the District. Focus areas included enhancing natural light, creating separate and flexible classroom spaces, noise reduction and upgrading technology capabilities.  Additionally, new collaborative spaces were created as flexible learning spaces with comfortable seating, a library and a full service kitchen and cafeteria were constructed.

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