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Global Impact STEM Academy Phase 2 Expansion

McCall Sharp Architecture

Posted: April 19, 2018 | Projects

Global Impact STEM Academy (GISA) in Springfield, Ohio, is one of only five STEM schools in the State of Ohio. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – which serve as core gateways to many industries.

The Academy in Springfield is an independent STEM school district focused on agriculture, energy, and the environment. Program emphasis is on preparing and placing graduates in food, fuel, fiber, bioscience, energy, and environmental fields reflecting the economic engines of the region. This STEM program provides students with the opportunity to obtain two years of college coursework through partnerships with area colleges.

The GISA STEM School is housed in the former Springfield High School, built in 1911. It is considered one of the iconic structures in the community, and is modeled after the Library of Congress building in Washington, D.C. GISA is one of several tenants in the 240,000-square-foot structure. The Springfield City School District has renamed this campus the Springfield Center of Innovation, where all tenants have a public service and community learning mission. 

Building renovation for GISA occurred in two phases. During the first phase, 52,144 square feet of the building was renovated for grades 9-12. During the second phase, 38,358 square feet was renovated and 6,005 square feet was constructed to provide a STEM middle school for grades 6-8. 

The second phase project included the following:

  • Renovation of the former central two-story lobby, addition of a monumental staircase, and renovation of the cafeteria, kitchen, servery, and music classroom. 
  • Addition of two college-level classrooms. 
  • Renovation of the third floor for the middle school classrooms, laboratories, as well as providing middle school administration offices.
  • Addition of another high school biology laboratory and agricultural education workshop, and a greenhouse addition. 
  • Addition of 42,000 square feet of paved surface for 116 new parking spaces. 
  • The Beaux Arts formal entrance and facade and historic columns were preserved, ornamental lighting was expanded, and the upper exterior entrance terrace was restored.

The interior design and multi-use spaces were created to enrich the student experience. A balance of natural and artificial light, acoustics, furniture, and finishes support modern learning. 

Easy-to-move modular furnishings enhance the collaborative atmosphere, and the design emphasizes zones that consider the flow of learning and cultivate creativity.

The GISA STEM Academy is located on all three floors, with utilities stacked for efficiency. The third-floor build-out includes two general science laboratories and shared preparation room, seven classrooms, and two college-level classrooms. 

Innovative use of folding glass doors and upward acting glass garage doors create two alternative collaborative teaching areas combining adjacent programs. With this build-out, the student capacity will increase from 300 to 450 students.

There are two major building construction types comprising this project. The first is the original 1911 building, which consists of concrete columns and structural floor slabs (Type 1 construction). All school functions are in this area, except for the pre-engineered laboratory addition. The historic front lobby is part of the restoration of the original Limestone Street entrance, which is the front door to the STEM school. It also provides a majestic entrance to the adjacent John Legend Theater. 

The second building type is a pre-engineered steel building system. In hindsight, the school director encouraged the design team to find a way to add one more high school biology laboratory to meet the unanticipated need. Although not in the building program, Kapp Construction value engineered the issue to provide the space. The most cost-effective solution was to put the biology and the agricultural education laboratories under the same roof. 
The school greenhouse contains aluminum framed polycarbonate panels, induction cooling, radiant heating, and LED lighting designed for year-round use. 

The site work consists of a new bus drop-off drive at the restored Limestone Street entrance, the doubling of the size of the south parking lot and repaving the existing north parking lot. 

The complete building renovation of the Global Impact STEM Academy helps to provide new students with the unique skills needed to fulfill opportunities in the industries of the surrounding community.


Building Envelope: A & S Building Systems
Roofing: A & S Building Systems, Duro-Last
Windows, Entrances & Storefronts: YKK AP America
Interior: Diversified Casework
HVAC: Bryant


McCall Sharp Architecture, Ltd.
100 E. Main Street
Springfield, OH 45502

Criteria Architect
SPGB Architects, LLC
4333B Tuller Road
Dublin, OH 43017

Structural Engineer 
Eeman & Blinn, Inc.
6037 Frantz Road, #103
Dublin, OH 43017

Plumbing & Electrical Engineer
ELH Engineering
2071 N. Bechtle Avenue, #205
Springfield, OH 45504

Civil Engineer
McCarty Associates
213 N. High Street
Hillsboro, OH 45133

General Contractor
Kapp Construction, Inc.
329 Mount Vernon Avenue
Springfield, OH 45503

Location: Springfield, Ohio
Date Bid: Oct 2016
Construction Period: Dec 2016 to Aug 2017          
Total Square Feet: 44,363
Site: 2.7 acres.
Number of Buildings: One; 15 classrooms; dining 400 seating.
Building Sizes: First floor new, 6,005; first floor renovation, 10,458; second floor renovation, 10,740; third floor renovation, 17,160; total, 44,363 square feet.  
Building Height: First floor, 11′6″; second floor, 14′4 ″; third floor, 14′4 ″; total, 43′.  
Basic Construction Type: Type 2A/Renovation/Pre-Engineered Metal Building.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, pier & grade beam, slab-on-grade. 
Exterior Walls: Metal panel (addition), brick.
Roof: Metal. 
Floors: Concrete. 
Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall, metal liner panels.

View full project details in magazine issue March-April 2018