Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy|
FLB ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING, INC.
19 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06118
East Hartford, Connecticut
Total Square Feet: 66,326
Construction Period: Sep 2001 to Aug 2003
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Lupachino & Salvatore, Inc. - 15 Northwood Drive, Bloomfield, CT 06002
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Hallisey Engineering Associates, Inc. - 78 Beaver Road, Wethersfield, CT 06109
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Consulting Engineering Services, Inc. - 811 Middle Street, Middletown, CT 06457
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: John Alexopoulos, ASLA - 32 Jude Lane, Mansfield Center, CT 06250
The Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy is the fifth "house" of the local high school. It functions as an independent institution while housing classes from the high school and allowing its students to take advantage of services there. Programmed and designed as a public prep school, it addresses the academic needs of highly motivated students from the region. Its curriculum is based on international standards of excellence in academic achievement.
Integration of the school into its densely developed suburban site facilitates the flow of school buses and directs parent and student traffic so as not to conflict with pedestrians. The entire existing campus and its traffic patterns were studied and analyzed, then redesigned, to accommodate the various levels of circulation without conflict. The conflict of student circulation between the two facilities and the on-site vehicular circulation is resolved by a bridge between the two schools, which also carries the data/ communications backbone. An outdoor learning space on the sheltered north side is created by a series of terraces, carefully placed boulders, and landscaping.
Spaces are organized on two floors around the central atrium, which serves as the entrance from the outside and from the high school via the bridge. Spaces involving advanced teaching methods or unique to the curriculum such as the epistemology lab, the computer lab, the art gallery, and the distance learning classroom are proudly displayed behind glass walls.
Classrooms are clustered by discipline. The foreign language classrooms and the language lab surmount the English and history classrooms, forming a humanities wing. Science labs are together on the second floor of the south wing.
Another organizing principle is natural light. The biology labs flank a greenhouse on the south side of the building, and its glazing extends down to the first floor to define the reading area of the library. Glass block provides diffused light in exit stairs, restrooms, and the fitness center. Clerestory lighting along the central spine allows natural light to fall into the corridors via glass block panels in the floors.
Locker/restroom pods were created in each wing at each floor level, one for each class year. The staff lounge was separated from the staff workroom. Phone "booths" give privacy for teachers making sensitive calls to parents.
The library, fitness center, and cafeteria are available for public use. The atrium was designed for receptions. What serves as the security desk by day doubles as a buffet in the evening. Remote control cameras in the 230-seat lecture hall permit live public access television broadcasting of Board of Education meetings. These rooms are grouped together in the south wing for access and security.
There was an early commitment to digital data storage and transfer. A laptop is provided to every student, and every learning space has a digital projector connected to the network, most with an interactive whiteboard. Slides, printed text, videotape, cassettes, photographs, and cable television signals are all converted to digital form. Servers are placed in a network administration room adjacent to the computer lab and stacked wire closets near the center of cable runs. Wireless access points are located throughout, while cable access is distributed through overhead cable trays and underfloor wireways. All workstations are connected to the network and have Internet access.
The steel structure building supports concrete decks, exterior walls of cast stone veneer on metal studs, and interior partitions of impact-resistant wallboard on metal framing. The existing 1950s curtain wall of the high school will later be replaced with the same stone veneer, which was selected for permanence, ease of maintenance, and a pleasing blending of colors on the two buildings. Ceiling grids hold lighting and HVAC diffusers, but panels are sometimes omitted to expose the infrastructure. Ducted HVAC and perimeter hydronic radiant panels provide optimal comfort and control. Solar panels on the roof of the atrium satisfy all the domestic hot water requirements of the new building.
DIV 07: Shingles: Owens-Corning; EPDM: Johns Manville; Metal Panels: ATAS.
DIV 08: Storefront: EFCO Corporation.
DIV 09: Impact Resistant Gypsum: National Gypsum; Metal Stud: Dietrich.