Blackney Hayes Architects announced that their project, AIM Academy in Manayunk, has opened. A school for bright children in grades 1-12 with learning differences, AIM Academy in Manayunk is located in Conshohocken, Pa.
Originally an 18th century paper mill, the buildings were converted to office space by Blackney Hayes in 1999. When AIM considered relocating from its Manayunk location, Blackney Hayes was able to recommend the space, which had been vacated in 2010. The firm’s familiarity with the building systems streamlined further conversion to a school. Opened on Jan. 3, the 63,500 sf building allows AIM to consolidate its previous two locations under one roof, with room to expand in the future.
The facility contains nontraditional classrooms for collaborative learning, an arts and music wing, cafeteria, and state-of-the-art global resource center with state of the art technology. The interior design includes carpet with 65% recycled content, light fixtures reused from the existing building, and natural light in most of the occupied spaces. Walls and floors are covered with bright, warm shades of green, yellow and orange. Some of the furniture was repurposed, with a portion coming from a pharmaceutical company that had recently closed and some from the existing school. The AIM Institute for Learning and Research is housed in the separate professional development wing of the building with multiple hi-tech training rooms. A soccer field and gymnasium / performing arts center are planned for Phase 2. BD+C