The year was 1961. Elvis Presley was at the top of the music charts and the Berlin Wall rose, dividing East and West Germany. That same year, Salk Middle School in Spokane, Washington, opened its doors. For 50 years, students passed through the same hallways
“The buildings had pretty much been extended through maintenance beyond their useable lifespan and were desperately in need of replacement,” said NAC Architecture project manager, Michael Cole, AIA, LEED AP.
The Salk Middle School replacement project consisted of a new 97,000 square foot, two-story structure and demolition of the existing middle school. In order to keep the school operational during the replacement process, construction happened in two phases.
In 2009, voters passed a bond, which bankrolled the first phase of construction, completed in the spring of 2015. That same year, voters approved another bond, funding phase two of the project, completed in November 2017.
“Finding the right aesthetic and durability standard for a new middle school was part of the challenge of this project,” Cole explained.
The new middle school had to be energy efficient with a design that appealed to the community and to the students who walk the halls each day. NAC Architecture chose 142,861 square feet of Kingspan insulated metal panels to fit the design and continuous
“It’s a little bit of a departure from what the school district has done in the past,” said Cole. “There [are] more metal panels than they’ve used in past projects.”
Kingspan’s BENCHMARK Designwall 2000 panels helped NAC Architecture
complete the building’s look with pops of color. These panels can be oriented both horizontally and vertically for added design flexibility. Designwall 2000 panels provide maximum thermal efficiency with R-values reaching 28.
KarrierPanel, used primarily for the second phase of the project, created a universal wall barrier throughout the school. Kingspan KarrierPanel allows architects to choose from a variety of different facades. When equipped with Kingspan’s QuadCore
Technology, KarrierPanels have R-values of 8 per inch per ASTM C518 @ 75˚F.
The panels use the KarrierRail system to transmit the load from the façade to structural supports behind the panels. In this case, the architects chose a corrugated profile for the façade to help modernize the building.
The Salk Middle School project spanned nearly a decade from proposal to ribbon-cutting. With lessons learned between 1961 and 2009, Salk Middle School’s improved durability and aesthetic will make a lasting impression on students for years to come.