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  Mount Union Junior/Senior High SchoolMount Union Junior/Senior High School

Architect & Structural Engineer

Holabird & Root
140 South Dearborn Street, #500, Chicago, IL 60603
www.holabird.com

General Description

Location: Mount Union, Pennsylvania
Date Bid: May 2009 Construction Period: May 2009 to Sep 2011
Total Square Feet: 165,238 Site: 22 acres.
Number of Buildings: One; 48 classrooms; auditorium seating capacity, 680; gymnasium capacity, 850.
Building Size: First floor, 141,238; second floor, 24,000; total, 165,238 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 12’4”; second floor, 12’4”; total, 24’8”.
Basic Construction Type: Addition/Renovation.
Foundation: Cast-in-place. Exterior Walls: Brick. Roof: Membrane. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: Keller Engineers, Inc. - 420 Allegheny Street, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
General Contractor: Leonard S. Flore, Inc. - 5506 Sixth Avenue, Rear, Altoona, PA 16602
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: IEQ Engineering - 15 North Front Street, #300, Steelton, PA 17113
Theater Design: Environmental Acoustics - 1400 Hummel Avenue, Leymoyne, PA 17043
Food Service Design: Barry Haugh & Associates - 47 Jean Lo Way, York, PA 17406


Mount Union is on the Juniata River, at the foot of Jack's Mountain. Once called the "Silica Brick Capital of the World", the three large refractory plants made brick used to line steel furnaces and coke ovens. This 2,500-person community had long ago faced economic challenge with the closure of the three brickyards, and the end of coal mining in the "broad-top" area of Huntingdon County. With an average annual income for families of $21,400 well below state and national averages, the community continues to face the challenge of creating opportunities for its young people.

The 1954 Junior/Senior High School had last been expanded in 1962 and much of the building was original to its date of construction. As a strong desire existed to better separate junior and senior high age pupils, as well as improve educational offerings, a number of internal space conversions occurred. This included the creation of new easily identifiable exterior entrances for the Middle and High school wings, reversing the building's original floor plan, as well as providing an entrance for the community center. While budget was constrained by local economics, but interior rejuvenation was a client goal, the focus of the interior design was to embrace the buildings existing elements of mid-century modern design style (often referred to as "populux" or "googie' architecture) with updated color palettes and materials.

Several small additions house auxiliary gymnasium, team locker rooms, weight room, library, Internet cafe, vocational agriculture lab space, District Administration offices and kitchen support. The library serves as the local branch of the Huntington County Library System with an exterior entrance for community use for when the schools is not in session. This space is a reinterpretation of the 1950s to 1960s mid-century modern interior, with an updated color scheme. The space includes a reading area, conference rooms, a distance learning center and an Internet café style computer lab.

The auditorium was fully renovated with an enlargement of the stage and reconfiguration of the seating to "continental style". Acoustic upgrades were of primary importance with the original asbestos plaster ceiling being removed and a series of wood faced sound reflectors and absorbers installed at ceiling, side and rear walls. Interior finishes, lighting, stage, and sound systems were also design considerations.

Although a formal green rating was not pursued, energy efficiency was central to the design. Single pane windows were replaced with new units featuring interior light shelves, high performance glass and exterior sunshades. On the 1962 two-story addition, aluminum curtain wall systems were replaced with new aluminum clad triple pane units and an insulated metal panel infill system. Roof mounted energy recovery units (ERV's) coupled with a ground-coupled geothermal heating/cooling system (one hundred sixty 450-foot deep wells) provide substantially improved utility costs. In large areas packaged gas fired/DX heating/cooling units were installed with variable ventilation CO2 monitoring. Site lighting was replaced with LED fixtures. Internally all original incandescent and T-12 fluorescent lighting fixtures were replaced with T-5 and compact fluorescent bulbs.


Product Information
Roofing: Carlisle Syntec
Flooring: Interface, Lees Carpet, AZROCK, Flexco Sports Flooring
Windows: Graham Architectural
Curtain Wall, Entrances & Storefronts: Kawneer
Daylighting/Skylights: Kalwall
Elevators: OTIS
 

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