Making Progress in the Public Sector

The Sinnemahoning State Park visitors center’s acoustically sound linear wood ceiling controls noise without disrupting the space’s rustic feel.

In the past decade, LSC Design has taken on projects outside its comfort zone—including one at a state park—to continually expand its capabilities

At a Glance

York, PA



Architecture, BIM coordination, sustainable-design consulting, and site design and engineering

Annual Sales
$8 million

On LSC Design Inc.’s website, two sentences stand out in large light-blue letters in the center of the homepage: “Good design makes good sense. Good design makes good cents.” This two-line philosophy drives the full-service design firm’s pursuit of business success in Pennsylvania and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. “If you can go to 10 of our projects and see a similarity or a signature style, then we haven’t done our job because each client is unique,” president Rob Kinsley says. “We want to pursue good design, but we want to create designs that serve a purpose. We want to forward our clients goals.” LSC puts clients needs first, but it still works to continually expand the depth of its knowledge and expertise by taking on a diverse array of local projects, including public-sector work.

“We will take on almost any type of project, but we like to stay in the Mid-Atlantic region,” Kinsely says. “In that area we have done everything from libraries and museums to manufacturing and distribution facilities. Our clients benefit from the breadth of our experience. We are learning things from other project types all of the time. As designers, we thrive on project diversity”

The full breadth of the firm’s expertise was applied in 2011 for the design and construction of the new visitors center at Sinnemahoning State Park. The park is part of the Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative, which is promoting ecotourism in the northern part of the state.

“Up until the last decade, we had only done private work,” Kinsley says. “We’d done many privately funded cultural projects, and Sinnemahoning State Park was a chance to do one for the public sector.”

The job involved construction of a 9,296-square-foot, one-story facility with wildlife-viewing areas, park administrative offices, an educational classroom, an exhibit gallery, and public restrooms. “The project created a higher level of amenities in the park, and it also was one of the first LEED-certified projects for the state parks system,” Kinsley says.

Deep overhangs and a decorative pergola control the amount of natural light admitted into the visitors center’s lobby.

LSC employed a number of strategies to get the structure LEED Silver-certified. The firm positioned the building, drives, and parking areas to minimize green-site disturbance and the diversion of wetlands, and the use of gravel and stabilized grass in place of extensive paving limited the heat-island effect while still accommodating overflow parking and drive areas. Additionally, light-colored roofing now maximizes the facility’s heat reflection, the building envelope is sealed with high R-value structural insulated roof panels, and LED flagpole downlights and full-cutoff exterior lighting consume minimal energy

Inside, the facility’s water-conservation measures include dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets, and waterless urinals, and electricity usage is kept to a minimum by a geothermal heating and cooling system. LSC finished the interior with low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, and carpets.

By the end of the project, LSC had managed to divert 52 percent of its construction waste. Additionally, 53 percent of the wood the firm used was FSC-certified, 16 percent of the building materials had been recycled from previous structures, and 23 percent of the building materials came from regional sources. Kinsley says that multidiscipline projects such as the Sinnemahoning State Park visitors center require the full engagement of the firm from top to bottom—another philosophy that LSC actively adheres to.

“We have a very casual and open work environment,” Kinsley says. “We’re not very hierarchal. We believe in teaming and getting people involved who may have good ideas. Our clients aren’t hiring one person. They’re hiring a firm, so we encourage input from across the firm. It keeps people engaged.” ABQ