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DCD Design Cost Data

Florence Middle School

Lambert Ezell Durham Architecture, LLC

Posted: February 5, 2020 | Projects

A classically-inspired façade and enhanced safety and security were the primary design criteria for the Florence Middle School in Florence, Alabama. The exterior drew inspiration from Tuscan detailing, using cast stone complementing face brick, acknowledging the original 1917 school that was replaced in 1951.

Photo Courtesy of Calvin Durham & Randy Finch

Security was integrally designed using clear lines-of-sight, electronically-controlled public access, and secure exterior/interior student spaces. For safety, the gymnasium doubles as a FEMA-rated storm shelter accommodating three times the school population. Michael Dorn, of Safe Havens International, commented that the school ranks in his Top 5 safest school designs of the more than 7,800 schools he has reviewed.

The design was organized around a central commons, connecting academics, fine arts and athletics, while also serving as a pre-function space for public events. The academic wing’s prominent two-story façade was placed west of the commons, taking advantage of traffic visibility along the campus’s west edge, while wrapping itself around an outdoor courtyard with controlled access.

The auditorium anchors the fine art wing surrounding it, and is located north of the commons. It hosts public events year-round, providing optimum professionally-designed acoustics. The gymnasium, east of the commons, aligns with the existing high school competition gymnasium, allowing their simultaneous use for tournaments/events.

The north/south corridor between the auditorium and cafeteria directly aligns with entry gates to the Braly football stadium to the north, home to Florence High School and the University of North Alabama. On game day, the commons/cafeteria/restrooms are open to the public for pregame use while providing direct stadium access through the space.  Additional features include collaboration spaces, central locker area, and cafeteria seating options, including outdoor dining.

The new school offers enhanced safety and security for the needs of a modern world while keeping the inspiration of the original building out of respect for the past.

Building Envelope: OldCastle BuildingEnvelope, Bassco
Roofing: Verisco
Windows, Entrances, Storefronts & Curtain Wall: EFCO
Lighting: Lithonia
Elevators: ThyssenKrupp

Lambert Ezell Durham Architecture, LLC
401 E. College Street
Florence, AL 35630

Structural Engineer 
LBYD, Inc.
1525 Perimeter Parkway, #510
Huntsville, AL 35806

Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Design Services, Inc.
104B Jefferson Street, S.
Huntsville, AL 35801

Electrical Engineer
Shoals Engineering, P.C.
1138 N. Wood Avenue
Florence, AL 35630

Civil Engineer
Pugh Wright McAnally, Inc.
310 8th Avenue, N.E.
Decatur, AL 35602

General Contractor
B.H. Craig Construction Company, Inc.
835 Wall Street
Florence, AL 35630

Marsh/PMK International, LLC
50211 Eagle Trace Drive
Georgetown, TX 78626

Food Service
Culinary Design Studio
861 Cedar Trace, S.W.
Lilburn, GA 30047

Date Bid: Feb 2017
Construction Period: May 2017 to Feb 2019          
Total Square Feet: 180,446
Site: 10.70 acres.
Number of Buildings: Four; classroom seating 60, auditorium seating 859, gymnasium seating 959. 
Building Sizes: First floor, 134,581; second floor, 45,865; total, 180,446 square feet.  
Building Height: First floor, 16’; second floor, 16; total, 54’.  
Basic Construction Type: New/II B.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade. 
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtain wall.
Roof: Asphalt shingles, membrane.
Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.

Click here to view the full cost details for this project in the January/February 2020 issue of DCD