The Hazleton Area School District opened the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences in September, a dynamic new magnet school that offers a rigorous curriculum focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M). Developed on a fast-track schedule, the school was brought on line quickly to help the district meet explosive growth; the district averaged 300 new students each year for each of the last five years. Instead of building new, the district purchased a two-story, 55,334 SF light industrial facility that has never been occupied at CANDO Corporate Center and turned to Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates Architects to transform the building into a 21st Century educational space. Isett provided all engineering design.
Design began with the purchase of the building in the fall of 2011. Construction was underway December of 2012 and was completed for the start of the 2013 academic year.
The school features 17 labs and classrooms ranging in size from 850 square feet to 1,300 square feet, designed so some areas can be combined to promote collaboration. Areas for art, music, and fitness instruction are included. Students also have access to a Cyber Café and a Resource/Media Center.
In October, public school leaders from across the state attended a session on the project at the 2012 PA School Board Association Leadership Conference in Hershey.