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  Ceco Doors Add Function, Style To Award-Winning Taconic Hills Central School

The $50 million, 350,000 square-foot Taconic Hills Central School in upstate New York is one of the largest schools in New York and designed for a capacity of 2,000 students in grades K-12.MONROE, N.C., (August 9, 2002) - Hollow-metal doors can be cold and utilitarian - but they also can be beautiful and visually rewarding.
The success of the new Taconic Hills Central School hinged on specifying metal doors that were more than simply functional. They also had to be aesthetically pleasing, individually as well as in context with the building's cutting-edge design. Ceco interior and exterior hollow-metal doors allowed the Taconic Hills design team to achieve those goals with style.

The Taconic Hills Central School, in rural Columbia County in upstate New York, opened in fall 1999 after years of debate about the district's facilities plan and a fast-track design and construction process that took just a year and a half. The $50 million school encompasses 350,000 square feet, making it one of the largest schools in the state of New York. The design, created by Rhinebeck Architecture & Planning in Rhinebeck, N.Y., is designed for a capacity of 2,000 students in K-12.

The design groups the K-grade 2 and grades 3-6 units on one side and the grades 7-8 and grades 9-12 units on the other. The entry to each side features a dramatic, light-filled two-story atrium, which helps orient students to their location in their wing. A community center is situated between the two school wings.

Ceco Medallion doors were used in the interior of Taconic Hills Central School while Ceco Imperial extra-heavy-duty doors were used for the exterior. All metal doors met SDI-100 standards, SDI-117 manufacturing tolarences and SSPC-SPI preparation standards.The facility includes a 1,000-seat performing arts center that opens to an outdoor amphitheater (the two share a common stage), two media centers, an aquatic/fitness center, and three subdividable gymnasiums with stadium-style seating.

The original quote of 759 interior and exterior doors included 276 interior and exterior hollow-metal doors. In mid-project, the school district received a donation that allowed for the addition of the aquatic/fitness center, necessitating an additional 30 heavy-duty metal doors, some with sidelight frames.

Project architects wanted to avoid specifying metal doors with a stark, utilitarian design. So, while the metal doors were required to provide adequate durability and security and be easily maintained and replaced if necessary, they also were required to contribute aesthetically to the overall design concept.

N.Y. bid policies for public projects require that contractors be allowed to substitute products if needed to obtain the best pricing, so specifications could not be tailored to fit a particular product. Instead, the specifications closely defined the standards that door products must meet. The approach limited options to high-quality products from a few, select manufacturers.

Ceco Medallion doors, rated heavy duty, grade 2, with 18-gage steel, were used in the building's interior. Designed for "student-proof" durability under high-frequency traffic conditions, these doors feature 7-gage steel hinge reinforcements. Some of the doors included flush-welded glass lite trim.

Exterior doors are Ceco Imperial, extra-heavy-duty, grade 3, with 16-gage steel face sheets. They are fully insulated with a foamed-in-place polyurethane core and are fire rated for up to three hours. The doors include 7-gage steel hinge reinforcements and have mechanically interlocking, hemmed vertical-edge seams for rigidity.

Ceco SQ-series custom metal frames were used to create the soaring atria and media centers. The project included 540 three-sided frames and 103 hollow-metal special units, including transoms, sidelights and interior segmented windows.
All metal doors met SDI-100 standards, SDI-117 manufacturing tolerances and SSPC-SP1 preparation standards. Cutouts and reinforcements were added at the factory to receive hardware, which included Yale Commercial Locks & Hardware mortise locks and exit devices and Norton door closers.

Hundreds of Ceco SQ-series custom metal frames were used to create the soaring atria and media centers, which rise up to 30 feet. The project included 540 three-sided hollow-metal frames and 103 hollow-metal special units, including transoms, sidelights and interior segmented windows. Interior frames are fire-rated 16-gage steel and exterior frames are 14-gage. 

Thanks to the striking design and the skill with which the design was executed, the Taconic Hills Central School has won several national, regional and state awards, including the prestigious Learning by Design 2001 Citation Award from the National School Boards Association. The Taconic Hills district also hosts many visitors from other districts who come to study the facility and borrow ideas for their own schools.


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