Fanning/Howey Associates, Inc. - Virginia; Bryant Mitchell, PLLC
Honorable Mention Winner 2012 Education Design Showcase
||Facility Use: K-12 Elementary
Project Type: Renovation/Modernization
Category: Whole Building/Campus Design
Location: Washington, DC
District/Inst.: District of Columbia Public Schools
Kaya Henderson Chancellor
Completion Date: December 2011
Design Capacity: 450 students
Enrollment: 322 students
Gross Area: 119,000 sq.ft.
Space per pupil: 369 sq.ft.
Site size: 5 acres
Cost per student: $72,321
Cost per sq.ft.: $195.00
Total project cost: $24,080,000
Building construction cost: $22,087,500
Site development cost: $1,200,000
Furniture & equipment cost: $795,520
Takoma Education Campus
In December 2010, the Takoma Education Campus, a PK-8 school in Washington, DC, was ravaged by a devastating fire. Nearly everything was destroyed. The structure, columns, and slabs were fine, but lights had melted; tiles were fractured; and desks were reduced to piles of ash.
“I was actually here and we heard, ‘Fire! Get out!’” recalled Takoma Principal Rikki Hunt Taylor. “I watched the building burn. And I cried because I had put so much effort into trying to make this place a cool place to be, and to watch my life’s work go up in flames was devastating. My first thought was, ‘We’re not coming back here.’ My second thought was, ‘Where are we going to go?’”
The school district had to find a temporary home for Takoma. The decision was made to transport the students across town to a recently closed school. A large tent was erected in front of the burned out school and was intended to act as a depot before and after school. Large motor coaches picked up the students every morning and dropped them off every afternoon. The situation was not the best, but it was better than closing the school and abandoning the community. With that problem solved, all attention was shifted to rebuilding the school.
A little more than three months since the fire, the design-build team was selected. The project budget was set at almost $25 million, and the week after Thanksgiving set for substantial completion, allowing Takoma students and staff to be back in their home school in less than one year.
The team invited the community to by weekly progress meetings held at the temporary school, community centers, and finally at the adjacent gym. Members of the community took advantage of these opportunities to voice their concerns, frustrations, and anxiety. The teachers and students wanted to know what was going on at their building as well, but due to the extreme nature of the work on site and the compressed schedule, they could not participate in traditional “hard hat days” or teacher walkthroughs. The only tours were virtual. Video links were established between the site and the temporary school building and virtual walkthroughs were offered on a regular basis. Students could actually watch their school come back to life right before their eyes.
Built in the late 1960s, Takoma followed the concept of an open plan school. Large open spaces without interior walls were designed for collaborative learning - but the nature of the approach was very dark and cavernous. Where the fire had left the remains of a 1960s shell, the design-build team created a beautiful 21st century school. Where the old building was composed of massive brick piers and recessed window wells, the new building proudly presents columns of curtain walls and glass, bridges of light and color, and a student greenhouse on the third floor terrace. The glass columns allow light to flood into the classrooms. Brightly colored window jams bounce complementary hues across floors, ceilings, and desktops.
The transformation of the open floor plan is one important student-centered aspect of the renovation. Planning and design efforts created a series of small learning communities. Classrooms are connected by a pathway which creates informal learning spaces for students and acts as a visual focal point. This area is uniquely protected from vehicular traffic and street noise, offering an optimal learning environment. Commons spaces found in the former open plan concept are now configured for use by the school's Fillmore Arts Program. Students have access to a dance studio, an art room, and small performance venues.
The introduction of natural light is another key element of the project's student-centered approach. The old Takoma Education Campus was a dark environment with few windows. Rows of bump-out windows, two light wells, and the use of interior glass for transparency have all combined to bring the proper amount of natural light into the learning environment. The two “living” light wells offer unexpected views with plants and natural light. Near the center of each floor, the pathways widen and merge into large multipurpose commons areas.
In spite of the fact that the fast track schedule allowed 8 months to design and construct Takoma, it is designed to achieve LEED® Gold certification. As part of this process, the design team addressed many student-centered issues such as sound attenuation, indoor air quality, and thermal comfort. Because Takoma was completed using the design-build delivery method, planning, design, and construction processes occurred simultaneously. The entire team—Owner, Architect, and Contractors—united to achieve exceptional results and meet the fast-track schedule. Nearly $20 million in renovations were completed in less than nine months and came in more than $4 million under budget. The two-building design also allowed for a natural phased approach to construction.
Despite the compact schedule, the design-build team was able to follow best practices in educational planning. This included close collaboration with Takoma's School Improvement Team (SIT), a 20-person committee comprised of school administrators and staff, community members, and representatives of the local Advisory Neighborhood Committee. The SIT provided input on a wide variety of issues ranging from safety and security to grade-level separation and color selection.
The Takoma team programmed, designed, permitted, bid, and constructed 119,000 square feet in 243 days. Miles of cable, gallons of paint, yards of carpet and flooring were all ordered, delivered, and installed in less than seven months. A school building community was lifted up, dusted off, and put right in a year to the day of a fire that shook their lives.
“It’s a great place for kids to be,” noted Principal Taylor. “It’s 21st century, it’s modern, and it reflects our vision, our mission. To come back here exactly 12 months later to have a ribbon-cutting is fabulous and fascinating, and I really didn’t think it was going to happen that fast. But it did and it’s gorgeous and I’m impressed.”
|1) Control of Institution: Public|
2) Type of Institution: Traditional; Other (New innovative arts Intregration program)
6) Community: Designed for Community Functions (New innovative arts Intregration program)
Methodology & Standards:
|District/Institution Decision; First-Cost|
|Primary Source: Alternative Source; Primary Source: State Appropriations|
Alternative Sources: Secondary: Grants and Donations
Project Delivery Method(s):
|Principles Followed: LEED|
Certifications Obtained: Other (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold); LEED Gold (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold)
Site Selection and Development: Stormwater Management (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold); Heat Island Reduction (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold)
Water Conservation: Water Conservation (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold)
Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Energy Efficiency (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold); Building Automation/Energy Management Systems (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold); Natural Ventilation (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold)
Materials Use: Recycling/Reuse (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold); Sustainable Materials Selection (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold)
Indoor Environmental Quality: Use of Daylighting (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold); Electric Lighting Systems/Controls (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold); Acoustics (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold); Indoor Air Quality (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold)
Commissioning: Building/systems have been commissioned (Not yet certified, but pursuing LEED Gold)
Associated Firms and Consultants:
|Interior Design: Fanning Howey|
Landscape Architecture: Fanning Howey
Construction/Project Management: Turner Construction Company
Structural Engineer: ReStl Cons. Engineers
Electrical Engineer: Global Eng. Solutions
Mechanical Engineer: Global Eng. Solutions
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