From the Montgomery County Communications office:
Two Plymouth-Whitemarsh area projects were among the five honored Wednesday at the annual Montgomery Awards ceremony, sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Commission. The annual program recognizes the best in planning and design and revitalization in Montgomery County and acknowledges the high-quality work and commitment of communities, organizations and professionals.
The program has two major award categories. The Land Development Award focuses on excellence in land development and planning concepts. The three projects honored in this category were Cold Point Manor in Whitemarsh Township; Germantown Academy, Phase 1 in Whitemarsh Township; and, Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Lower Merion Township.
The Revitalization Award recognizes successful revitalization projects and programs. The award winners in this category were Cannon Square in Lansdale Borough, and Glenside Commercial District Streetscape Enhancements in Cheltenham Township.
Cold Point Manor received a 2012 Montgomery Award for extensive collaborative efforts and effective site design. The project demonstrates how a public/private partnership can result in a well-designed development while accomplishing important transportation improvements.
This small townhouse development places dwellings in small groupings of five units surrounding an attractively landscaped open space area. The compact design and distinctive architecture contribute to its human scale and sense of neighborhood. Extensive buffer plantings along the perimeter provide privacy for residents. Sidewalks and the construction of a portion of the county’s Cross County Trail were also installed as part of this development.
Extensive collaboration between the developer and township resulted in a site design that addressed the goals of the township while meeting the needs of the developer. The township’s goal was to alleviate traffic congestion at the offset intersection of Butler Pike, Flourtown Road and Plymouth Road.
The result of this collaboration was the realignment of Flourtown Road and the development of the site to allow townhouses. The leadership and financing efforts of the developer were instrumental in formulating a public/private partnership, which included Whitemarsh Township, Plymouth Township, PennDOT and the Montgomery County Planning Commission, to complete this important realignment.
Cold Point Manor is an outstanding example of a successful collaborative effort between a municipality and developer. This partnership created an appealing neighborhood and accomplished much-needed road improvements.
Germantown Academy received a 2012 Montgomery Award for environmentally sensitive site planning, sustainable building design, and restoration of natural features. This outstanding project successfully integrates the school’s natural environment into the campus design and incorporates environmental education into the academic curriculum.
The project, phase 1 of a master plan, involved removing outdated buildings and inappropriate uses along the Wissahickon Creek, which runs through the property, constructing a new 160,000-square-foot upper/middle school, reconfiguring the athletic complex and restoring natural habitats.
School buildings, using innovative green building practices, were reoriented to face the creek, and service areas and athletic fields were relocated from riparian and floodplain areas. The original administration building was preserved and renovated and connects to the new school building by a glass-enclosed walkway, successfully blending the old with the new.
An appealing feature of the new building is the mixing of materials such as stone, glass and steel. An attractive entry plaza serves as the main entrance and gathering area. Germantown Academy hopes to attain gold LEED certification for its new building.
As part of the sustainable goals of this project, a new athletic complex was created. Several athletic fields were relocated out of the floodplain adjacent to the Wissahickon Creek, allowing for the creation of a 6-acre area known as the Preserve.
The Preserve contains restored wetlands, ponds, wet meadows, woodlands, walking trails and wildlife habitats. This exceptional project demonstrates Germantown Academy’s commitment to sustainable design, environmental stewardship and the education of future community leaders.