Designing Back to School

The following is a part of the #ArchiTalks series wherein a topic is suggested and a group of architect bloggers each give their take on the subject.

The topic this month is "Back to School"

Back to school is particularly special for me this year. We are down to five children in school. Our two oldest have already graduated, and neither are pursuing college at this time. Our third son and first daughter (fourth child) are both attending St. Peter's High School and have been in school for about a week now. It looks to be shaping up to be a very busy year for both of them as they are active in sports and my son will probably be involved with the school musical again this year. Our three youngest attend a local public charter school and are in 7th, 4th, and 3rd grades. They will be starting back to school on Wednesday, August 31. Why  the late start? Well, it is because they are opening a new facility this year. Designed by none other than yours truly. It is pretty exciting to have my children attending a school that i designed.

Floor Plan for 78k sq feet renovation.
Floor Plan for 78k sq feet renovation of facility to be used as a school.

The school had been leasing space from a local dance and music academy. Both entities were growing and needed more space. As such, they were beginning to crowd each other out, even though they did not operate the same hours for the most part. After ruling out several possible facilities, and resigning themselves to stay at the academy for another school year, the building they are moving into came to their attention as it was in foreclosure. They had to move fast. And they needed to be in it for this school year. It was January, 2016. I had been working with the school already in evaluating other facilities, but there was not time for that this time. It was either jump in with both feet, or pass altogether. So we jumped. The contractor they were working with gave them a four month construction timeline with an additional month for demolition. Meaning they needed to start demo work in March to meet the deadline of August 15th so school could start on August 24th. I assured them we could get the drawings done in time, at least to a level that the project could be permitted and bid, by their March deadline. So they purchased the building and signed our proposal. It was February 22, 2016. And we were off to the races. Demolition work commenced while we worked on construction and permitting documents. The build out portion went out to bid on March 17. A mere 3-1/2 weeks after entering into contract.

And here we are four+ months after starting construction. The school is substantially complete. They obtained their occupancy permit on schedule and were certified by the state to operate as a school. And school will start tomorrow. Obviously there is quite a bit more to this story. And i plan on telling it. Just not today.

Below are links to the other posts in this series. I would encourage you to take the time to read them as well.

Enoch Sears - Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
Back to school!

Bob Borson - Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
ArchiTalks: "Back To School"

Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
What Have We Learned? It's Back To School For #ArchiTalks 21

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
good to go back to school

Mark R. LePage - EntreArchitect (@EntreArchitect)
Back to School: Marketing for Architects

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
4 Tips As You Go Back To School

Cormac Phalen - Cormac Phalen (@archy_type)
Back to School Again

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
#architalks 21 "back to school"

Michael Riscica - Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
Let’s Get Back To (Architect) School …or Work. 

brady ernst - Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
Back to the Cartography Board

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
Back to School

Michael LaValley - Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
#ArchiTalks / 15 Ways to Make the Most of Your Architectural Education

Eric Wittman - intern[life] (@rico_w)
getting [schooled] again

Sharon George - Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
What's better than architecture after school?

Jarod Hall - di'velept (@divelept)
Back to {Architecture} School

Drew Paul Bell - Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Back to School...Suckasssssss

Tim Ung - Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
10 Things I wish I knew about Architecture School

Jim Mehaffey - Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Back to School? It Doesn't Stop there for Architects.

Adam Denais - Defragging Architecture (@DefragArch)
[ArchiTalks #21] 10 Things Architecture Students Say Going Back to School

Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)

Jared W. Smith - Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
Back to School...

Kyu Young Kim - Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
Back to School: Seoul Studio


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