NEW CASTLE, Colo. –January 22, 2009— Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, AIA (VTBS Architects), in association with Fanning Howey, designed Riverside Middle School in New Castle, Colo., which is a new prototype for the Garfield County School District Re-2. The school opened for students, grades 5-8, for the 2008-2009 school year.
Riverside Middle School was designed for flexibility of space in order to allow numerous teaching and learning methods. VTBS designed the primary two-story academic wing to accommodate eight additional classrooms. There are also provisions for the additions of an auxiliary gym, and a second music room, if needed. The 76,924-square-foot building’s interior construction will allow for the flexibility to adjust with respect to any changes in the school district’s educational programs.
In addition to flexibility, VTBS made sustainability a priority in Riverside Middle School’s design. “Sustainability was emphasized wherever possible and within the budget,” said Gary Prager, AIA, LEED AP, Partner of VTBS Architects. “It was prioritized around the needs of the students to enhance the learning environment.”
According to Prager, such sustainability elements include: a high Albedo roof, energy efficient mechanical systems, energy efficient lighting devices and control systems, large windows with low E glass for day lighting, increased insulation values, infrared plumbing fixture controls, low water plants and minimally irrigated fields as well as low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and adhesives.
School safety was also a main concern for VTBS when designing the project. The $14 million School is located on a sloped site adjacent to an existing elementary school and incorporates a community trail system that leads to a nearby park. To ensure the safety of students and pedestrians, a bus loop was created to serve both the elementary and middle school. The loop separates bus traffic from pedestrians and vehicular traffic at both facilities, which keeps kids safer during the walk to and from school. There were also design features that enhanced security at the facility including a secure main entry, reduced façade recesses to allow for staff observation of the students as well as some electronic security systems.
VTBS’s project team included Prager, Partner-in-Charge, and Kim Halbach, Project Coordinator. Fanning Howey served as the Planning, Interior Design and Structural Engineering firm; Boundaries Unlimited was the civil engineering firm; DMCE Engineering served as both mechanical and electrical engineers; FCI of Grand Junction, Colorado was the General Contractor; Mt. Daly was the landscape architect; and Vorndran & Associates was the kitchen consultant for Riverside Middle School.
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About Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, AIA (VTBS Architects)
Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, AIA is an architectural firm committed to service, quality, and integrity. The primary goal of the firm is to provide meaningful design solutions that respond to the needs of the firm’s clients, while respecting the sensitive balance of community and environment. The firm is widely acknowledged to be a creative design firm with excellent technical abilities. Its portfolio includes a wide variety of retail, commercial office, interiors, residential, retirement, master planning, mixed-use and educational projects. For more information, please visit www.vtbs.com .
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