St. Elizabeth’s High School Student Development Center|
110 S. Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Total Square Feet: 32,800
Construction Period: Sep 2000 to Aug 2001
Project Architect/Principal In Charge: Donald L. Love Jr. AIA, McMillan Smith & Partners Architect : Tetra Tech, Inc. - 56 W. Main Street, Christiana, DE 19702
Structural Engineer: Tetra Tech, Inc. - 56 W. Main Street, Christiana, DE 19702
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Furlow Associates, Inc. - 1206 Society Drive, Claymont, DE 19703
Landscape Architect: Tetra Tech, Inc. - 56 W. Main Street, Christiana, DE 19702
Cost Estimator: EDiS Company - 110 S. Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
St. Elizabeth School is a private elementary and college preparatory high school, located in Wilmington, Delaware, which has an educational mission deeply rooted in their 90-year heritage. Their mission statement is to "spread the Good News of the Gospel through Catholic education with a willingness to build and grow in response to the ever-changing educational needs of its students". Recently in an effort to continue their mission, St. Elizabeth identified the need for expansion. They found themselves being the only private school of its size and diversity in Delaware, which had only one gym for its total enrollment. In order to maintain their edge in the game, a new gymnasium was commissioned for the high school. A project team consisting of the Tetra Tech, Inc. architects and engineers, Furlow Associates, Inc. mechanical and electrical engineers and EDiS Company Construction Managers was selected to develop the facility.
St. Elizabeth requested their project team be creative and "think outside the box", while working toward their goals. This had dual meaning in that "The Box" was what students and alumni affectionately called their original gymnasium. "The Box", built in 1956 was inadequate to serve the needs of 1,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade and the other 249 teams of the Diocesan CYO program. Although well maintained and aesthetically handsome, it was not handicap accessible and lacked other accommodations required for high school level competition. The second portion of the meaning was that a pre-engineered metal building, which typically looks like a box, was the best construction type for the budget.
A master-plan approach was used to provide the best solution for fitting the new facility into the existing urban fabric of the campus. An amphitheater, which incorporates the site#s natural grade provides a link between the Parish Church and "Viking Walk of Fame", which leads to the building's front entrance. The amphitheater was designed to function not only as an arena for special events, but to serve as an outdoor classroom with seating for up to thirty students. The "Viking Walk of Fame" was a fund raising effort, which is comprised of hundreds of engraved bricks with messages from students, faculty, alumni, friends and other school supporters.
The new building, known as the Student Development Center is a multi-purpose facility, which includes a large lobby, a school store, four classrooms, gymnasium with room for one thousand spectators, a weight training room, a wrestling room, and locker room facilities for both boys and girls. The design team integrated pre-engineered building materials and components, such as free-spanning structural steel, metal siding and metal roofing, with selected areas of the exterior and interior receiving upgraded materials.
The exterior incorporates a mixture of brick, split-face block, pre-cast concrete, metal latticework with fiber optic lighting accenting from behind, and translucent panels in clerestory windows and skylights. The roofs are a combination of sloping gabled standing seam metal and flat modified bitumen membrane that serves to breakdown the building's scale. Interior upgrades include the gymnasium wood flooring, special sports flooring in the fitness room, and lobby upgrades. The lobby space was envisioned to provide for multiple functions. These functions range from cheerleader practice, art display, the Viking Shoppe (a school store), and gathering space for people both during and after the school day.
This forward thinking facility is designed to meet the school's current needs and its long-term needs, while providing itself as a leader in high school academics and athletics. Thus, allowing for the Viking tradition of providing society with leaders in faith, seekers of academic excellence, and students of technology to be maintained.
DIV 07: Manufactured Roofing & Siding: Butler Manufacturing; Asphalt: Johns Manville; Translucent Panels &
DIV 08: Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer.
DIV 09: VCT: Mannington; Athletic Flooring: Mondo; Wood: Superior Flooring; Tile: Dal-Tile; Rubber:
Johnsonite; Interior Columns: Formglas; Gym Doors: OSHKOSH Architectural Door Co.
DIV 10: Louvers: Greenheck.