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  Lancaster Mennonite School, Ag Tech Facility, pAGE 48Lancaster Mennonite School, Ag Tech Facility
320 Granite Run Drive, Lancaster, PA 17604

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Total Square Feet: 17,578
Construction Period: May 2004 to Sep 2004

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Providence Engineering Corp. - 117 S. West End Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Paul Risk Associates, Inc. - 11 W. State Street, Quarryville, PA 17566
CIVIL ENGINEER: Derck & Edson Associates, LLP - 33 South Broad Street, Lititz, PA 17543
COST ESTIMATOR: Paul Risk Associates, Inc. - 11 W. State Street, Quarryville, PA 17566

Cornerstone Design-Architects has been privileged to be involved with numerous projects at a Central Pennsylvania private school, Lancaster Mennonite School. The latest project presented numerous challenges beginning with a decision whether to renovate and expand the Agricultural/Technology Facility in its existing location or relocate to another campus site.

The existing 1940's building is tucked behind the classroom and administration building that wraps to the west and south. The north side is limited by an existing dormitory building. The east side is restricted by the flood plain line of an adjacent stream. On top of all of those limitations, the entire site was in the conservation district for the local municipality and required a special exception.

A few schematic design possibilities were developed to show potential expansion of the Ag/Tech Center. Two basic decisions needed to be made. First, was the existing building even worth renovating? Secondly, could adequate expansion be shoe-horned into the restricted site? After discussing pros and cons, it was decided that Cornerstone could adequately meet the programming needs.

Since the available site for development was primarily to the west, coming close to the existing classroom wing, and to the north, adjacent to the dormitory, the architect had to be cognizant of proper wall ratings and separation distances. Furthermore, the west wall of the addition would be close to a projected entry and adjacent spaces in the classroom building. A long sweeping curved wall was designed that enables a close covered entry point between the buildings, yet allows both visual and physical relief for the pedestrian.

Since the use of the building includes drafting and construction technology education, there was interest from the faculty and administration in using energy efficient building systems. A concrete form masonry unit which utilized a split face CMU for the exterior face and a colored block for the interior face was selected. The system has the benefits of a cavity wall design, but in a labor saving single wythe product. The combination of the rigid insulation and cast-in-place reinforced concrete creates a good "U" value system, which also is an excellent barrier against air infiltration.

The method for buying construction services was a modified bridging approach. After Cornerstone had completed schematic design plans and computer modeled views, five general contractors were interviewed and made presentations to the school. Proposals were solicited from MEP subcontractors as well, with selections made by the school for each trade.

After design development drawings were completed, three contractors were given the opportunity to prepare a guaranteed maximum price proposal, and were required to use the MEP subcontractors selected. In final decision making, scheduling was what won the day, although cost was a close second. The contractor was then part of the team meetings as the construction documents were developed and were the keeper of the budget.

Paul Risk Associates was the only contractor to commit to the partial occupancy, as well as promised to deliver the completed project at the end of September 2004. They successfully performed to this schedule. Partial occupancy near the beginning of the Fall term was achieved, which enabled the school to continue using parts of their building throughout the construction period when school was in session.

Making modifications to a 60-plus year old structure is always a challenge. This project overcame many of the obstacles to renovate the existing facility, give it new life and construct an addition. The team delivered a highly functional, aesthetically attractive and cutting edge Ag/Tech Facility in a timely and cost effective manner.

DIV 03:
Concrete Form Masonry Unit: Pentstar.
DIV 07: EPDM Roofing: Carlisle SynTec.
DIV 08: Windows: Andersen Windows; Metal Doors & Frames: CECO; Locks: Schlage; Closers: Yale; Panic Hardware: Von Duprin; Wood Doors: Mohawk.
DIV 09: VCT: Armstrong; Carpet: Mannington.

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