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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
American School of Paris Inaugurates a New Era and a New Learning Home
By Janet Rubinstein 28-Mar-17
On Nov. 7, 2016, American School of Paris Upper School (grades 9 to 12) students inaugurated their new school building, beginning a new era in their learning journey. The new, five-story Upper School building is a landmark event in the history of the American School of Paris— the first new facility of the ambitious €36 million, 31-month campus build construction project, creating a renewed ASP campus that will soon also include a new lower school community room and cafeteria, a new arts center, along with a refurbishing of all existing facilities. In a statement upon the completion of the new Upper School building, Head of School Mark Ulfers said: “With the completion of the Upper School and with our comprehensive campus build project, we are creating a new place for 21st century learning, literally rebuilding our school, and recognizing the importance of the learning environment, an essential component of the education triad formed along with strong curriculum and quality teaching. The new and refurbished facilities are providing state-of-the-art technology, creative outlets, collaborative spaces and active hands-on and mind-on discovery experiences for students of all ages, supporting diverse active learning styles and providing spaces to create, innovate and experiment.” Reaction by students Mr. Ulfers remarked that upon opening of the new Upper School building: “student reaction was heartening. When not in their classrooms, they immediately found a spot to study on the grand stairway, in one of many “collaboratories", or in the library. There is a sophistication and calm in the building. Students treat it with great seriousness and respect which seems to reflect on their learning.” Instruction guides construction Before building work commenced, four years of research and planning was undertaken and a collaborative design development process involving all school community constituent groups enabled architects to hear from all concerned. The administration unequivocally mandated one overriding priority- that instruction would always guide construction, with all building decisions to be driven by curriculum and teaching and learning needs. Additional guiding principles include the incorporation of modular and flexible spaces, a cohesive campus-wide design, and environmentally responsible construction and materials. No interrupted teaching and learning With the build ongoing, a meticulously phased work plan ensures that demolition and other major work is done during school vacations in order to minimize the build project impact on daily campus life. There are no interruptions to teaching and learning, with construction and busy classrooms peacefully co-existing on the same campus. Long-awaited opportunity to build ASP’s history is unique: the first American school in Europe, established in post-war Paris in 1946; the school moved in 1967 to its current suburban Saint-Cloud campus, leasing vacated NATO facilities and adapting them as possible to serve as a K-12 school. In 2011, ASP was finally granted the authority from the French government to purchase the 4,6 hectare Saint-Cloud property, inviting the commitment and financial investment to create a purpose-built, state-of-the–art campus. What was once a dream is now becoming reality. “The future is here” reads a large poster on an exterior wall of the new Upper School. About the American School of Paris and the Campus Build Project The American School of Paris, an international school of 750 students from more than 50 countries around the world, ages 3 to 18, offers a rigorous academic program that prepares students to achieve personal and academic excellence using the American approach to teaching and learning. The school provides both the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate diplomas. ASP students achieve top tier college and university acceptance records among overseas schools globally. Through its Extension program, ASP also offers English immersion language courses to over 1000 students from the wider local community. ASP is able to realize its campus build project thanks to a combination of philanthropic support of families, alumni, and corporate partners, cash reserves and loans. ASP selected BDP Architects, based in England, to redesign its campus, working in conjunction with local archtect AADCE. Eiffage Construction was hired to build, SNC selected as cost controllers and Builders and Partners as the Project Management team, working along with an internal ASP team. The land purchase was completed in December 2011, the Upper School was completed in November, 2016, the Lower School cafeteria in January 2017, and the Arts Link art space will be completed in fall, 2017. Refurbishing of existing spaces has now been largely completed and the entire campus build project is set for completion by end of year 2017. Founded in 1946, the American School of Paris is an international school of 750 students from more than 50 countries around the world, ages 3 to 18, with a campus environment minutes from Paris. It offers a rigorous academic program that prepares students to achieve personal and academic excellence using the American approach to teaching and learning. [email protected]www.asparis.org
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