The Minnetonka, Minn., High School is considered the flagship of Minnetonka Public School District #276, which serves approximately 8,400 students in grades K-12 in this suburban community located just eight miles west of Minneapolis in Hennepin County. As such, it was the first among the district’s schools to receive a facelift completed in January 2009 that included a secure entry and office space within a two-story beacon-like rotunda.
Four elementary schools and two middle schools received entryway facelifts that spring. The updated entryway for Minnetonka Middle School East was designed to support evening and weekend access to the school’s new Minnetonka Aquatics Center, a competitive and recreational swimming and diving facility that opened in June 2009. Updates for the district’s Minnetonka Community Education Center, which offers an Early Childhood Family Education Program for children ages birth-to-5, were completed in September 2009.
“Our overall goal was to give the schools a facelift that would display a strong image of schools of excellence,” said Tammy Magney, partner and project architect, Minneapolis-based ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers. Additionally, the Minnetonka Public School District wanted to create more secure yet friendly building entryways for students and visiting parents.
The entire entry at the Minnetonka High School was torn out and replaced with a two-story glass-filled entryway that “glows like a beacon,” according to Magney. “We used this architectural element to create an obvious and welcoming entry symbol.”
The high school entryway features a vestibule that is open before and after school and locked for security during the school day. The school office sits adjacent to the vestibule offering “a warm, welcoming and inviting reception to visitors,” according to Magney. “Once the bell rings, the inside doors are locked,” she said.
Alucobond® Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) by Alcan Composites USA was selected as cladding for exterior canopies, soffits and fasciae as well as for both exterior and interior column elements. The building updates utilized 5,359 square feet of 4mm Alucobond in the custom Arabian Blue color and 4,385 square feet of 4mm Alucobond in the Platinum Mica color.
Alucobond’s ability to be bent into curved shapes was greatly utilized in the high school entryway. In addition to wrapping 32 exterior columns located beneath the school’s canopies, Alucobond covered six round cylindrical interior columns that stretch floor-to-ceiling in the two-story entryway as well as four upper-level interior columns.
“Alucobond does the job of multiple other materials because you can bend and shape it,” said Magney. “We use it as opposed to sheet metal. It doesn’t oil can and offers rigidity. Alucobond provides a clean, straightforward finish. We like the simplicity of it and the color options available.”
Alucobond ACM in the custom Arabian Blue color was selected as a fun option for elementary school canopies, according to Magney.
“We went from playful blue to sophisticated platinum,” said Magney, who described the updated elementary school entryways as both welcoming and secure for the increased numbers of parents coming into the schools to partner with teachers and administrators.
“Alucobond has made these projects,” said Magney. “It provides the finishing touch. Its ability to be designed, shaped and formed is great. There’s no other material that can finish it off like Alucobond. We’re able to make the curves we want. It lets us do what we need to do.”
Innovative Building Concepts, Inc., of Bloomington, Minn., fabricated and installed the Alucobond on the Minnetonka High School with a route and return wet-sealed system. Innovative Building Concepts has been using Alucobond for more than 20 years, according to Ray Kangas, project manager.
“This product is always consistent,” said Kangas. “Alucobond stays flat and does a nice job. When we need to create a radius piece, it works well.”
Alucobond ACM consists of two sheets of 0.020” aluminum thermobonded to a plastic core. Alucobond provides extraordinary flatness and rigidity, excellent formability, low weight and outstanding weather resistance. Alucobond aluminum-faced panels are manufactured with a polyethylene core in a standard 4mm thickness.
The Alucobond material for this project was promoted by EBP, LLC, of Excelsior, Minn.
Additional fabricators/installers for the Minnetonka schools included: Atomic Architectural Sheet Metal, Inc., of Vadnais Heights, Minn.; Berwald Roofing Co., Inc., of North St. Paul, Minn.; and Specialty Systems, Inc., of Burnsville, Minn.
General contractor for the Minnetonka High School facelift was Merrimac Construction Co., Inc., of Bethel, Minn. General contractors for other school updates included: Morcon Construction Co., Inc., of Minneapolis; Ebert Construction, of Corcoran, Minn.; CM Construction Co., of Burnsville, Minn.; Construction Results Corp., of Plymouth, Minn.; and Lund Martin Construction, of Minneapolis.
Photos, from top to bottom: Minnetonka High School's exterior, two photos of Minnetonka High School's interior, and the exterior of Clear Springs Elementary School.
Photos by Bergerson Photography of Minneapolis