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Maclay Proposed Classroom Expansion

To facilitate a growing student population, additional classroom space has become a priority for many schools located in Florida’s eastern panhandle. The project location falls within the densely populated campus of one of the city’s oldest private schools. With minimal space for new growth, a small area was available between three existing buildings directly adjacent to, and inline with, an open storm water ditch, making for a very challenging building site. This, compounded by strict budgetary constraints, led to the use of a pre-engineered metal building system utilizing a highly repetitive structural design. “Off-the-shelf” materials such as fiber cement “board and batten” as well as painted CMU and standard DX HVAC systems will help to dampen the impact of ongoing high costs associated with supply chain and lengthy delivery times. Reflective standing seam metal roofs, together with low-E glazing, energy saving HVAC systems, low-flush toilets, LED lighting, natural lighting and building orientation all contribute to the goal of making the building as efficient as possible. The new building will provide six additional classrooms as well as an administrative area, a large band room and a robotics laboratory. Acting as a “new front door” to the school, it will serve as a gateway, transitioning visitors from the athletic portion of the campus through to the academic sector. Extending into the site, the existing stormwater ditch was reconfigured and “re-imagined” as a linear “eco-swale” which bifurcates the building and is paralleled and bridged across by the pedestrian path. The linear nature informed the shape of the building and allows the passerby to engage with the landscape into which the building complex is integrated. Shed roof forms and exterior building materials are in keeping with the predominate typology found on campus. Naturally and artificially shaded outdoor gathering spaces, together with the sounds of water and the occasional musical ensemble, will serve to enhance the learning environment and will provide a new destination point for students and faculty.

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