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  Atha Road Elementary School, Page 54Atha Road Elementary School
Sy Richards Architect, Inc.
2159 Greensward Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30345

Monroe, Georgia
Total Square Feet: 103,771
Construction Period: Mar 2000 to Aug 2001

Construction Team
General Contractor: Salloum Construction - 315 Newton Bridge Road, Athens, GA 30607
Structural Engineer: Willett Engineering Co., Inc. - 3528 Habersham at Northlake, Tucker, GA 30084
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Bolden Engineers, Inc. - 3066 Highway 29 South, Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Walton County is located just outside East Metro Atlanta, and in the last few years has felt the impact of Atlanta's booming growth since the 1996 Olympics. The need to build new schools to accommodate relocating and growing families prompted the passing of a special purpose sales tax for schools (SPLOST) as many other Metro Atlanta counties did. Atha Road Elementary School is the first school in Walton County to be built with the SPLOST funding. It was conceived as a prototype elementary school - a second school, utilizing the same design has been successfully bid and construction is currently in progress. Even though both schools will have the same floor plan, some modifications were made to accommodate the site differences and the color scheme was deliberately changed so that each school could built its own identity as a place of instruction.

Working closely with the client, Sy Richards Architect planned a school building that met all of their program needs, was economical and has built-in flexibility. The school was designed for 950 students, but the core elements (Media Center, Dining Room, Kitchen and Restrooms) were designed to handle 1,200 students in anticipation for growth. All classroom wings were planned to have four additional classrooms added at each end. All special education, planning and storage rooms in the center of the main building can be converted into full size classrooms. Utilities are in place to attach trailers to the back of the school when needed.

The facility is composed of a main building and a pre-engineered metal building for physical education activities. The school provides classrooms from pre-K through 4th grades, 2 art classrooms, 2 music classrooms, 3 special education classrooms and a special services area (handicapped students). The special services area has 2 classrooms (directly connected to a resource room), 2 toilet rooms, a laundry room and a changing room.

The Media Center features a separate story-telling area outlined by pre-fabricated classic "tuscan" columns, with built-in stepped benches and low ceiling. The Dining Room (with a portable stage) serves as a multiple function area for school activities as well as for after hours activities, since it can be open while the rest of the school is closed. The Lobby area features a 24-foot high ceiling with exposed steel structure and clerestory windows, patterned natural stone-look ceramic tile and brick veneer to match exterior elevations. The use of the exterior materials (especially the brick veneer for its warm colors) in the Lobby space was an effort to provide an inviting place for all users and visitors. The Lobby's height and roof outline were intentionally designed to create a volume as a clear indication of the building's main entrance.

DIV 04: Masonry: Boral Brick.
DIV 07: Metal Roofing: Berridge Manufacturing; Built-Up: GAF Materials; Dampproofing: W R Meadows.
DIV 08: Aluminum Windows: Peerless Products; Special Doors: Cookson; Wood Doors: Graham Architectural Doors; Hollow Metal Doors: Curries; Hardware: McKinney, Sargent, Best, Precision, Rixson, Rockwood.
DIV 09: VCT: AZROCK; Tile: Florida Tile; Grout: W. R. Bonsal; Base: Flexco; Sports Floor: Tuflex; Acoustical Treatment: USG.
DIV 10: Operable Partitions: Hufcor; Walkway Covers: Peachtree Protective Covers; Toilet Partitions: Santana; Lockers: Penco.
DIV 12: Folding Stage: Hussey Seating. 
DIV 13: Pre-Engineered Structure: American Building.

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