CarbonCast wall panels insulate and act as a storm shelter
- Project Jefferson High School
- Location Sioux Falls, SD
- Type of Precast CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels
- Project Size 327,000 sq. ft.
- Architect Architecture Incorporated
- Engineer Structural Engineering Associates
- Contractor Journey Group Construction
- Owner Sioux Falls School District
- Precaster Gage Brothers
Since 2010, Sioux Falls has experienced record-breaking growth as the city continues to collect awards such as Best City for Young Professionals, Top Moving Destination, and is ranked one of the Best Places to Live in the U.S.
In the last decade, Sioux Falls as experienced a 20% increase in public school enrollment and an additional 10% is projected within the next 10 years. With this prosperity, however, comes challenges. A top priority of Sioux Falls has become the city’s need to expand accessible education even further.
Enter Gage Brothers Concrete Products with not only a functional solution, but a look to inspire and a timeline to match.
Architecturally cladding and CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels span both the Performance Center and Gymnasium of Jefferson High School. These spaces provide a safe and modern space for students to hone their skills and achieve greatness. Open-concept spaces such as learning stairs, 2-story open library, and learning pods encourage collaboration and are unique to the fourth high school in the city’s district.
Learning pods or suites offer separate class disciplines in a “blended learning” model centralized around the school’s main circulation spine and centrally located media center, revolutionizing contemporary education for students.
The precast solution
Precast became the clear solution when solving the building’s needs for clear span capability, speed of construction, aesthetic versatility, and first and foremost: serving as a storm shelter to the 1,400 students it will accommodate. Construction was completed within two years and in time for the start of 2021’s school year which solved the district-wide issue of overcrowding. While the entirety of the project was not precast, special attention was given to ensure precast architectural brick cladding matched corresponding portions of hand set brick on this project.
Expansive windows in the gymnasium flood the space with natural light that ignites an energy only leading to one place, victory. Two depths of sandblasting created visual frames around the windows showcasing the flexibility of using the same concrete mix while creating multiple finishes. Natural lighting is a common theme throughout the building designed specifically to engage a sense of exploration and curiosity within students.
Slight variations in mix design also provided a subtle, multi-dimensional visual effect. Gorgeous Endicott brick in the color Magnesium Iron offsets sandblasted cladding on the Performance Center creating a contrast deserving of a standing ovation. This combination reinforces the modern aesthetic that compliments the open-floorplan and enhanced use of technology within the facility.
Site topography posed opportunities to innovate. In areas, 14” panels are situated atop extra thick foundation walls while other areas utilize the versatility of the CarbonCast panels also acting as soil retaining foundation walls.
KEY PROJECT ATTRIBUTES
- Clear-span precast wall panels were a necessity due to the height and purpose of both the Performance Center and Gymnasium.
- 14” CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Precast Wall Panels function as a storm shelter in the gymnasium.
- All 632 Precast Members were produced in 3 months, between October and December 2019.
- The site broke ground in June 2019 and welcomed students in August 2021. Despite a global pandemic, construction on Jefferson High School was finished within a day of its projected completion date.
Project and precast scope:
- Hollowcore Floor // 246 pieces or 15,795 SF
- Double Tees // 28 pieces or 12,904 SF
- Structural Gray Panels // 40 pieces or 17,736 SF
- Architectural Cladding // 125 pieces or 1,374 SF
- Insulated Precast Wall Panels // 163 pieces or 53,579 SF
- Total Precast // 632 Members or 106,910 SF