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  Hmong College Prep AcademyHmong College Prep Academy


Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd.
15 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis, MN 55403

General Description

Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Date Bid: July 2012 Construction Period: Oct 2012 to Aug 2013
Total Square Feet: 154,434 Site: 3.9 acres.
Number of Buildings: One. Renovation, 38 classrooms, gymnasium; Addition, 32 classrooms, seating capacities 477, auditorium, gymnasium.
Building Sizes: First floor renovation, 46,698; first floor addition, 32.531; second floor renovation, 29,443; second floor addition, 20,975; third floor addition, 24,787; total 154,434 square feet.
Building Height: First floor renovation, 14’; first floor addition, 14’, second floor renovation, 15’; second floor addition, 15’; third floor addition, 14’, total 47’ 3”.
Basic Construction Type: Renovation/Addition.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: CMU, brick curtain wall, metal panel. Roof: Membrane. Floors: Concrete, precast.
Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.

Project Team

Structural Engineer: Mattson Macdonald Young, Inc. - 901 N. Third Street, #100, Minneapolis, MN 55401
General Contractor & Cost Estimator: RJM Construction - 701 Washington Avenue, N., #600, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Mechanical Engineer & Electrical Engineer: Cain Thomas Associates - 1310 E, Highway 96, #209, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Civil Engineer: Larson Engineering, Inc. - 3524 Labore Road, White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Hmong College Prep Academy (HCPA) began the 2013 school year by opening its doors to a new high school addition and remodel of the existing school. Featuring a new entrance, additional classrooms, and a 477-seat theater, the updated facilities better serve the growing student population.

The St. Paul charter school relocated to an existing building in 2006. Since then, the student population has grown exponentially. The building, originally a health club, needed work to fit the vibrant k-12 programs. Kodet worked with the school staff and administration on two previous phases before completing the most recent addition and renovation.

There are now distinct facilities for the K-8 and 9-12 programs. The core of the addition includes 24 new high school classrooms. Along with these are four science rooms, art, computer technology, special education, and a media center. Moving the high school out of the existing building also allows the K-8 program to expand their capacity.

Shared spaces, including a second gym and another lunchroom, create an efficient use of space. The kitchen was doubled in size, and the school can now serve over 1100 students a healthy and ethnically appropriate meal twice a day.

One of the main features of the addition is space supporting the arts. The theater, located directly off the new lobby, is used for the school's fine arts programs and includes a green room, production area, and more. The performance amenities make the space a valuable resource for students and the community.

The school's site is small at 3.9 acres and includes the existing building, required parking, and a steep grade change. The design team maximized the available land by building into the slope, working with a retaining wall specialist to design the 20-foot high steel sheet pile retaining wall with tie-backs. Above the retaining wall the hillside was planted with native, zero-irrigation plants and grasses to add beauty and stabilize the hill.

The HCPA addition is pursuing LEED(R) certification to make tangible their sustainable practices as a school. Compared to a typical school design, the addition reduces overall power consumption by 15-20%, reduces water use by up to 40%, captures and cleans 100% of stormwater that falls on the site, and uses environmentally friendly interior materials to promote the health of students, staff, and faculty.

Working closely with the clients to support the academic and community interests, the design team was able to provide Hmong Academy high-end spaces while staying within the school's $12.8 million budget and tight, one-year project schedule. The state of the art auditorium was achieved while maintaining high quality and functionality of the rest of the spaces. The design team also worked with the school to complete the Xcel Energy Assets program which uses computer models to predict energy use and pinpoint areas to invest in energy efficiency upgrades, earning HCPA $55,000 in rebates.

With the new amenities, classrooms, and support areas, Hmong Academy can further their goals of providing a well-rounded education and cultural environment to an ever growing population within its community.

Product Information
Building Envelope: Centria, Acme
Roofing: Firestone
Windows, Entrances, Storefronts & Curtain Wall: Tubelite, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope(R)
Interior: Curries, Marshfield
Flooring: Robbins, Forbo, Bigelow, Daltile
Lighting: Columbia, Axis, Prescolite, Access Lighting, Concealite
Elevators: Schindler

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