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Arts center spotlights aluminum storefront

Photos credit: Tubelite Inc. and Charles Davis Smith, AIA, architectural photographer

Perkins+Will, Chicago, designed Broken Arrow Public Schools' Freshman Academy in Broken Arrow, Okla., to convey a sense of connectedness across the campus and offer outside views and daylight. Selser Schaefer Architects, Tulsa, Okla., also worked on the $9.4 million project, which renovated 9,800 square feet and added approximately 33,700 square feet to the high school. The renovation and addition were completed between September 2011 and December 2012.

Alma, Ark.-based Architectural Glass and Metals Inc. installed more than 390 feet of Walker, Mich.-based Tubelite Inc.'s products, including Tubelite's T14000 series storefront, 400 series curtainwall and seven Wide Stile doors throughout the renovation and addition. Oklahoma City-based CMS Willowbrook Inc. was the general contractor.

Patrick Glenn, AIA, REFP, LEED AP, Perkins+Will's principal and k-12 regional practice leader, says Tubelite's products were used throughout the performing arts center addition. Oklahoma limestone topped with a metal panel eyebrow and canopy denotes the performing arts center's entry. "Layering a sequence of spaces-outdoor to indoor and protected to open-promotes a hierarchy of arrival and gathering," Glenn says. "The design provides a transparent wrapper crafting an indoor/ outdoor destination and concentration for arts and the community. The pre-function lobby provides openness and transparency to the courtyard, while becoming a beacon for evening community events."

Large amounts of clear glazing promote transparency from indoor to outdoor space on the academic wing, which includes six science classrooms, computer labs, administration areas and a teacher planning area. Brick masonry, light-colored exterior plaster and dark bronze anodize on the storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems' aluminum framing complement the existing architecture.

Glenn says the courtyard gives the school a new identity. It can be used for impromptu outdoor theatrical plays, as a pre-function space for basketball games, as a space for art projects or for school assemblies. "Visual and layered connections between arts and athletics facilitate a blended approach to community and education," he says.

The courtyard is oriented to capture indirect northern daylight and has deep overhangs to block the western and southern sun while allowing for eastern morning light in the art room. The art room is part of the 33,700-square-foot performing arts addition. The addition also houses a centralized theater, media center, art gallery, band hall, orchestra room and choir rehearsal hall.

Tubelite used its EcoLuminum, aluminum with a high recycled-content composition, to produce the framing. Linetec utilized its anodize process that sends 90 percent less waste to landfills than traditional anodizing. The project received a 2013 Built: Design Award from the American Institute of Architects' Dallas chapter.

Freshman Academy, formerly South Intermediate High School, remained open throughout the project. The high school serves 1,400 students in grades 9 to 12. Michelle Bergwall, chief operating officer for operational services at Broken Arrow Public Schools says the project was a joint effort between the architects, teachers and other end users of the facility. "The result is a building that is both beautiful and practical for daily operations," she says.

Linetec, www.linetec.com

Tubelite Inc., www.tubeliteinc.com