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  Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, Page 22Martin Luther King, Jr. High School
ARCHITECT
SY RICHARDS, ARCHITECT INC.
2159 Greensward Drive, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30345


Location: 
Lithonia, Georgia
Total Square Feet: 186,272
Construction Period: Jan 2000 to Feb 2002 

CONSTRUCTION TEAM
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Willett Engineering, Inc. - 3528 Habersham at Northlake, Tucker, GA 30084
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: David Lee Associates, Inc. - 2300 Henderson Mill Road, #317, Atlanta, GA 30345
ACOUSTICAL CONSULTANT: Ballentine Walker Smith, Inc. - 4659 Brazil Woods Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144


Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, completed in the spring of 2002 for DeKalb County School System in Georgia, was designed for 1,400 students. The facility serves grades 9 through 12. Built on a large heavily wooded and slopped plot of land, the building is set away from the main highway by a dramatic entry boulevard. During the planning of the project, care was taken to keep as much of the site as possible in its natural state, while providing the needed facilities and programs for the school. To this end most of the land disturbance was focused at the middle of the site. The south property line is bounded by South River, which feeds into Lake Jackson in neighboring counties.

The athletic fields, located to the rear of the building, are composed of a soccer/ football field for track and field events, tennis courts, softball and baseball fields. A concessions/storage building is centrally located.

The building layout focuses around a central Commons/Dining Room. Placed around this Commons is the Administration with Entry Lobby, Music Suite, Theater/ Gymnasium Lobby, ROTC Suite, Food Court with Kitchen and two-story Classroom Wing with Media Center.

The Dining Area was designed to follow the concept of an open food court. Wrought iron gates open onto four serving lines, each with its own theme announced in neon lights: “The Main Event”, “Grille Stop”, “Pizzeria” and “Global Fare”. High windows bring natural light to the common space below, and brick veneered columns define the eating area.

The Theater and Gymnasium share a lobby that is separate from the main entry. This allows for controlled entry into these spaces for off-hours events. The Auditorium seats 515 people with the walls and ceiling designed to maximize the acoustical features of the space. The Music Suite, located adjacent to the Theater, includes Band, Chorus with keyboard lab, and Orchestra classrooms. The practice rooms, office and library are centralized within this suite.

The Gymnasium offers a 1,550-seating capacity with a main basketball court. This large space also allows for two basketball practice courts, volleyball court, badminton and shuffle courts. Locker rooms are located on each side of the Gymnasium. A Health Classroom, Weight Room and a Wrestling/Gymnastics Room complete the suite.

The ROTC program features two large classrooms with an operable partition, offices, uniform storage and an indoor rifle range.

The Classroom Wing provides the location for the bulk of the instructional areas within the building. The design utilizes two floors to keep the plan as compact as possible. Stairways at the four corners help to keep the travel distance between each classroom and the rest of the building at a minimum. In addition to the 50 typical classrooms and labs, there is a World Language Culture Lab, Special Education Suite, Business and Marketing Suite, Home Economics, Art and Technology Education Lab with shop. Each department has been provided with its own planning room. This room is sized to function as a spare classroom, should the school’s population require it.

The building was planned for the addition of a future Career Technology Wing and additional classrooms to be added to the east side of the Classroom Wing. Space was also designated for a future Natatorium on the west side of the Gymnasium.

The exterior of the building is clad in brick veneer sitting on a split face CMU base. Curved metal roofs cover both the Theater and Gymnasium. Small canopies over exterior doors continue the curved metal theme throughout the building. The same effect is brought in the interior of the facility, in the Main Lobby, Auditorium/ Gymnasium Lobby and the entry to the Media Center.

MANUFACTURERS/SUPPLIERS
DIV 03: Vapor Barrier: WR Meadows.
DIV 04: Masonry: Boral Brick; Masonry Accent Block: Spectra-Glaze®; Glass Block: Pittsburgh Corning.
DIV 07: Built-Up: Soprema; Metal: Perma-Clad Products; Waterproofing: WR Meadows; Roof Accessories: Custom Curb.
DIV 08: Aluminum Windows: Peerless Products; Roll-Up Door: Cornell Iron.
DIV 09: VCT: AZROCK; Wood Floor: Action Floor Systems; Sports Floor: Tuflex; Acoustical Treatment: BPB Celotex, Hunter Douglas; Acoustical Wall Panels: Conwed.
DIV 10: Lockers: Republic; Cubicle Curtains: InPro.


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