Christopher House Joanne L. Cicchelli Middle School Dedication Ceremony


On March 4th, 2020, we joined our client, Christopher House Charter School, at the dedication ceremony of their new 15,300 sf addition, The JoAnne L. Cicchelli Middle School. A multi-phased design project developed and constructed over the last 10 years, PH considers the Christopher House campus in Belmont-Cragin as the cornerstone of our expanding educational design practice.

The school offers classes from early infant through 8th-grade curriculum, as well as after-school and parent education programs. With much to offer many people, the building is a true cultural anchor for the neighborhood. Its ambitious mission and modest budget translated into unique challenges for us as architects, with many stakeholders and special circumstances to consider.

Designed to enhance the Reggio Emilia philosophy that Christopher House follows, the school is a vibrant, playful, and efficient design that captures the imagination of students, providing them spatial variety and opportunity for discovery while supporting their sense of security and belonging.

The client team of Christopher House — the board, benefactors, and faculty — inspired us at every turn. Their tireless efforts and enthusiasm are what helped to drive a seemingly impossible program, into something real. We are proud to be part of the Christopher House family and to have contributed our part to their growth over the last decade.

Project Team: Jeff Renterghem, Ron Weber, Michael Henning, Heather Faircloth, Peter Evanich