Inspirative Renovations Drive Enhanced Learning for Students in Cattaraugus County

Outstanding renovations now grace the hallways of Allegany-Limestone Elementary (ALES)—a beloved grammar school in Cattaraugus County serving PK-5 students. CPL spearheaded impressive design changes alongside key district staff to modernize the school and give students in the community a more enriched learning experience.

Inside and out, ALES had begun to age with an outdated, institutional “look and feel” prior to renovations. Strategic efforts to uplift the school’s overall aesthetic and evoke stronger “Gator” pride throughout were among top priorities communicated by the district.

Senior Project Manager at CPL, Ryne Wight, RA, recalled the very distinct vision district stakeholders had for this inspirative project.

“During early meetings with the team, we quickly learned how important it was for us to incorporate changes that would not only bolster the school’s mission, but also complement the celebrated enhancements we had previously designed for their companion high school,” said Wight.

ALES received this treatment and more.

Intense collaboration between the district and the design team yielded extensively detailed visual concepts that featured fun, whimsical learning environments filled with bright, alluring colors—design details that would inevitably fuel engagement at every turn, for everyone.

These concepts began with the school’s lobby and entryways. Vibrantly branded graphics and spirit-boosting color selections were strategically placed, igniting school spirit and welcoming all. Moving through the building, clever wayfinding was utilized on corridor walls and floors as well as in key program spaces to further spark curiosity and shore up creativity.

Another impactful transformation included the reimagining of the school’s library to serve as a modern media center with a larger-than-life entrance to draw students inside. Similarly, special attention was given to an existing sensory room with the addition of new, captivating sensory elements such as a “tree” ceiling support structure and an intriguing I-Spy window.

Other rigorous improvements included the conversion of an unused classroom into a high-performing maker space, a rock-climbing wall in the gymnasium, and a beautiful courtyard with limestone seats and a “tree” shade canopy. CPL engineers also facilitated LED lighting design replacements as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (M/E/P) upgrades throughout the facility.

More than pleased with these results was Superintendent of the Allegany-Limestone Central School District, Anthony Giannicchi, who highlighted that all objectives established at the onset of the project had most certainly been met.

“We had two primary goals when we started our Elementary building project,” Giannicchi explained. “First, we wanted to take a building comprised of three sections built in the 50’s, 70’s and 90’s, and modernize it to be more uniform and welcoming. Secondly, we needed to update the school’s mechanical infrastructure to avoid costly issues in the future. CPL’s team of designers and engineers helped us accomplish both goals and more.”

Today, the Gators and their community are proud to walk through the hallways of both ALES and its companion Middle-High School. The CPL project team was deemed successful in designing thoughtful and cohesive renovations to bolster learning environments and set students in the community up for great success.

“While no building project ever proceeds without challenges, we were very fortunate to partner with CPL. Our community is very, very pleased with how our school project turned out,” said Giannicchi.

Tackling meaningful community projects like this is at the cornerstone of CPL’s long-standing mission throughout the Southern Tier of New York. For over four decades, the firm’s impact has spanned the eastern seaboard with an abundance of notable projects, serving residents in many neighborhoods of all ages.

These projects have included:

The firm’s commitment to contributing high-impact work throughout the region stems from its hearty Western New York roots. Whether it’s an iconic museum attracting local families and fans of comedy, an upscale, country homestead for seniors ready to embark on the next chapter of their lives, an innovative transportation solution calming traffic and promoting pedestrian safety, or an inspiring, modernized elementary school giving students the dynamic learning spaces they deserve, CPL activates beneficial change in every community they live in work in. For them, the Southern Tier is ‘home’ and will remain home for years to come.


Helen works closely with project managers and Principals in Georgia and the Carolinas on regional marketing efforts. With nearly 20 years of marketing experience in the A/E/C industry, she is responsible for preparing written responses to RFPs/RFQs and facilitating business development efforts. Helen is also an active member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS).

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