- Project Starr Elementary
- Location Grand Island, Nebraska
- Type of Precast CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels
- Project Size 85,000 sq. ft.
- CarbonCast Surface Area 70,000 sq. ft.
- Architect CMBA
- Engineer CMBA
- Precaster Enterprise Precast Concrete
When a community votes to approve a 70 million dollar, seven-project bond issue for the Grand Island Public School District, the patrons expect quality products that are produced in a timely manner. The 85,000 Square Foot Starr Elementary School was the first of three new elementary buildings to be constructed from the bond issue. The exterior walls utilize 12” thick load bearing CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels which include 4” of continuous ridged insulation. Interior precast walls support 12” hollowcore roof plank to create “Areas of Refuge” and mechanical mezzanines decks.
With over 70,000 square feet of wall panels on the project, the exterior appearance was a critical aspect to the owner. “The floor plan of the building has a complicated shape and we needed to find a way to identify access points to the building for parents to drop off and pick up their children.” According to Principal Architect Brad Kissler. “We decided that we wanted each entrance to have a visual identity that would be easily recognized by visitors, so we decided to give each a bold primary or secondary color. We were able to use a staining process on the smooth panels to create entrances that were unmistakable.”
The brightly colored and smooth surface entrance panels are a visual variation from the remaining exterior façade. The 16’ tall exterior walls at the classrooms included a buff colored wainscot base with an acid etch finish that gives way to a horizontal pattern of random dimensioned recesses. These ¾” deep recesses are highlighted with a dual finish of smooth acid etch at the raised face and an abrasive blast finish at the recessed locations. Endicott modular thin brick adds a touch of traditional school house feel at various locations of the exterior.
The central portion of the facility includes the gymnasium and commons areas. The 33’ tall wall panels support large span trusses and joists which create column free floor plans. These large panels resist both the gravity and diaphragm loads from the roof and floors. The results of the quality, schedule, budget, and aesthetics of this project warranted the owner to mandate that architectural precast concrete be used on the remaining construction projects of this bond issue.